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The grating compressor is one of the most critical components of a high power Chirped Pulse Amplification (CPA) laser system. Requirements for the diffraction gratings include: high diffraction efficiency, high damage threshold, and often the ability to withstand high average powers. Until recently, CPA laser systems have almost exclusively made use of metallic diffraction gratings, in which the diffractive structure is typically coated with a thin gold film. These gold-coated pulse compression gratings have allowed the implementation of a number of high power laser systems around the world.
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