A simple method for pulse contrast enhancement via self-focusing effect

Zaharit Refaeli, Gilad Marcus, Yariv Shamir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Here we report on a simple-to-implement and cost-effective approach for laser pulse contrast enhancement, based on x(3) nonlinear self-focusing effect. An intentionally induced and gently controlled self-focusing in a thin glass, transforms the time dependant intensity into variation in beam divergence. Followed by a spatial discriminating filter, only the strongly focused fraction traverse the setup, at the expense of efficiency. Numerical model, accounting for pulse and material parameters via Gaussian ABCD matrix, provides an estimate for the instantaneous beam waist and transmission efficiency, which enables us to evaluate a resulted contrast enhancement. The estimated contrast enhancement spans between half to 2.5 orders of magnitude, in conjunction with ∼ 90% - 25% estimated efficiency, depending on pulse parameters. In a preliminary experiment we demonstrated the effect with 10s J sub GW regime with ∼ 40% efficiency and ≥ 20 dB contrast improvement.

Original languageAmerican English
JournalHigh Power Laser Science and Engineering
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 American Medical Association. All rights reserved.


  • Nonlinear optics
  • Pulse contrast
  • Self-focusing
  • Ultrafast laser


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