Generation of femtosecond paraxial beams with arbitrary spatial distribution

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We present an approach to generate paraxial laser beams with arbitrary spatial distribution in the femtosecond time regime. The proposed technique is based upon a pair of volume phase holographic gratings working in parallel arrangement. It exploits the spatial coherence properties of the incoming laser beam in a compact and robust setup that mitigates angular and spatial chirp. The gratings were recorded in a photopolymerizable glass with a high optical damage threshold and a large optical throughput. Setup performance is studied and experimentally demonstrated by generating Laguerre-Gaussian femtosecond pulses.
© 2010 Optical Society of America. We thank Fransisco del Monte for valuable advice and CAI-UCM facilities. The financial support from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation under projects TEC 2008-04105, CTQ2008-02578/BQU and Consolider SAUUL CSD2007-00013 is acknowledged. M. P. H.-G. and P. V. acknowledge the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) (Brazil) for financial support, respectively.
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