The present invention provides an easily aligned, all-reflective, aberration-free pulse stretcher-compressor in a compact geometry. The stretcher-compressor device is a reflective multi-layer dielectric that can be utilized for high power chirped-pulse amplification material processing applications. A reflective grating element of the device is constructed: 1) to receive a beam for stretching of laser pulses in a beam stretcher beam path and 2) to also receive stretched amplified pulses to be compressed in a compressor beam path through the same (i.e., common) reflective multilayer dielectric diffraction grating. The stretched and compressed pulses are interleaved about the grating element to provide the desired number of passes in each respective beam path in order to achieve the desired results.
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.