A concept for orthogonal control of phase and group delay inside a laser cavity by a specially designed compensator assembly is discussed. Similar to the construction of variable polarization retarder, this assembly consists of two thin wedge prisms made from appropriately chosen optical materials. Being shifted as a whole, the assembly allows changing the phase delay with no influence on the cavity round-trip time, whereas relative shifting of the prisms enables adjustment of the latter. This scheme is discussed theoretically and verified experimentally, indicating a factor 30 reduction of the influence on the repetition rate compared to the commonly used silica wedge pair. For a 2π adjustment of the carrier-envelope phase shift, single-pass timing differences are reduced to the single-femtosecond regime. With negligible distortions of timing and dispersion, the described compensator device greatly simplifies carrier-envelope phase control and experiments in extreme nonlinear optics.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics