We show that backward Raman amplification in plasma can efficiently compress a temporally incoherent pump laser into an intense coherent amplified seed pulse, provided that the correlation time of the pump is longer than the inverse plasma frequency. An analytical theory for Raman amplification using pump beams with different correlation functions is developed and compared to numerical calculations and particle-in-cell simulations. Since incoherence on scales shorter than the instability growth time suppresses spontaneous noise amplification, we point out a broad regime where quasi-coherent sources may be used as efficient low-noise Raman amplification pumps. As the amplified seed is coherent, Raman amplification additionally provides a beam-cleaning mechanism for removing incoherence. At near-infrared wavelengths, finite coherence times as short as 50 fs allow amplification with only minor losses in efficiency.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Condensed Matter Physics