High-resolution wavefront control of high-power laser systems

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Nearly every new large-scale laser system application at LLNL has requirements for beam control which exceed the current level of available technology. For applications such as inertial confinement fusion, laser isotope separation, laser machining, and laser the ability to transport significant power to a target while maintaining good beam quality is critical. There are many ways that laser wavefront quality can be degraded. Thermal effects due to the interaction of high-power laser or pump light with the internal optical components or with the ambient gas are common causes of wavefront degradation. For many years, adaptive optics based on thing deformable ... continued below

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312 Kilobytes pages

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Brase, J; Brown, C; Carrano, C; Kartz, M; Olivier, S; Pennington, D et al. July 8, 1999.

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Nearly every new large-scale laser system application at LLNL has requirements for beam control which exceed the current level of available technology. For applications such as inertial confinement fusion, laser isotope separation, laser machining, and laser the ability to transport significant power to a target while maintaining good beam quality is critical. There are many ways that laser wavefront quality can be degraded. Thermal effects due to the interaction of high-power laser or pump light with the internal optical components or with the ambient gas are common causes of wavefront degradation. For many years, adaptive optics based on thing deformable glass mirrors with piezoelectric or electrostrictive actuators have be used to remove the low-order wavefront errors from high-power laser systems. These adaptive optics systems have successfully improved laser beam quality, but have also generally revealed additional high-spatial-frequency errors, both because the low-order errors have been reduced and because deformable mirrors have often introduced some high-spatial-frequency components due to manufacturing errors. Many current and emerging laser applications fall into the high-resolution category where there is an increased need for the correction of high spatial frequency aberrations which requires correctors with thousands of degrees of freedom. The largest Deformable Mirrors currently available have less than one thousand degrees of freedom at a cost of approximately $1M. A deformable mirror capable of meeting these high spatial resolution requirements would be cost prohibitive. Therefore a new approach using a different wavefront control technology is needed. One new wavefront control approach is the use of liquid-crystal (LC) spatial light modulator (SLM) technology for the controlling the phase of linearly polarized light. Current LC SLM technology provides high-spatial-resolution wavefront control, with hundreds of thousands of degrees of freedom, more than two orders of magnitude greater than the best Deformable Mirrors currently made. Even with the increased spatial resolution, the cost of these devices is nearly two orders of magnitude less than the cost of the largest deformable mirror.

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312 Kilobytes pages

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  • International Workshop on Adaptive Optics for Industry and Medicine, Durham (GB), 07/12/1999--07/16/1999

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  • Report No.: UCRL-JC-134822
  • Report No.: YN0100000
  • Report No.: 98-ERD-061
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-48
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 9797
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc791497

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  • July 8, 1999

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  • Dec. 19, 2015, 7:14 p.m.

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  • May 6, 2016, 1:26 p.m.

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Brase, J; Brown, C; Carrano, C; Kartz, M; Olivier, S; Pennington, D et al. High-resolution wavefront control of high-power laser systems, article, July 8, 1999; California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc791497/: accessed June 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.