We report the generation of few-cycle multiterawatt light pulses with a temporal contrast of 1010, when measured as close as 2 ps to the pulse's peak. Tens of picoseconds before the main pulse, the contrast value is expected to spread much beyond the measurement limit. Separate measurements of contrast improvement factors at different stages of the laser system indicate that real contrast values may reach 1019 and 1014, when measured 50 and 25 ps before the pulse's peak, respectively. The combination of the shortest pulse duration and the highest contrast renders our system a promising front-end architecture for future multipetawatt laser facilities.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics