Spatial characterization of Bessel-like beams for strong-field physics


We present a compact, simple design for the generation and tuning of both the spot size and effective focal length of Bessel-like beams. In particular, this setup provides an important tool for the use of Bessel-like beams with high-power, femtosecond laser systems. Using a shallow angle axicon in conjunction with a spherical lens, we show that it is possible to focus Bessel-like modes to comparable focal spot sizes to sharp axicons while maintaining a long effective focal length. The resulting focal profiles are characterized in detail using an accurate high dynamic range imaging technique. Quantitatively, we introduce a metric (R0.8) which defines the spot-size containing 80% of the total energy. Our setup overcomes the typical compromise between long working distances and small spot sizes. This is particularly relevant for strong-field physics where most experiments must operate in vacuum.



Laser beams, Laser light, Laser sources, Laser systems