New Jersey Patent of the Month – November 2021

Ultrafast lasers are lasers that produce short pulses of light, typically less than one picosecond. Certain applications require exceptionally rapid pulses of energy, which can be amplified using chirped pulse amplification. This is achieved by temporarily stretching the pulsewidth of a seed laser by reflective gratings in an optical set up called a Stretcher. These Stretchers are known to be lossy and cause distortion of the laser beam. Femto Blanc, Inc. has designed a system that improves this amplification and the reliability of the resultant pulsewidth.

A conventional ultrafast laser system has a laser oscillator, stretcher, pulse-picker, laser amplifier, and an optical pulse compressor. Femto Blanc’s design removes the need for a stretcher, replacing it with the use of positive Group Delay Dispersion (GDD) intracavity mirrors and a pre-chirped femtosecond oscillator. This amplifies the laser pulse which is then compressed by a single transmissive grating and maintains beam quality. 

Their GDD mirrors are coated with a custom design, allowing for a ˜4000 fs2 of dispersion to the input laser pulse per reflection. The seed laser beam reflects off the positive GDD mirrors and cycles through the laser amplifier cavity. Each cycle through this cavity amplifies the seed laser pulse until it reaches its peak power. Since this method employs a single transmission grating, the amplified pulse is less compromised by the stretching and compressing optics.

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