Troubleshooting ultrashort pulse measurement: the coherent artifact and other issues
Rhodes, Michelle Ann
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Theoretical limitations of several ultrashort pulse measurement techniques are investigated. Particular attention is paid to the consequences of averaging over many pulses of different shapes. Averaging over many pulses is a very common practice, and if the pulse shape varies then the measurement result will be incorrect. This issue, referred to as a coherent artifact, is simulated for frequency-resolved optical gating using several nonlinearities, spectral interferometry for direct electric field reconstruction, two-dimensional spectral shearing interferometry, self-referenced spectral interferometry using cross-polarized wave generation, and multiphoton intrapulse interference phase scan. The role of measurement feedback in identifying pulse-shape instability is explored where possible. Several techniques receive additional analysis, such as searching for ambiguities or simulating convergence conditions. In addition, a method for intuitively displaying spatiotemporally distorted pulses is explored and developed.