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Improved Characterization of Transmitted Wavefront Error on CADB Epoxy-Free Bonded Solid State Laser Materials

Description: Current state-of-the-art and next generation laser systems - such as those used in the NIF and LIFE experiments at LLNL - depend on ever larger optical elements. The need for wide aperture optics that are tolerant of high power has placed many demands on material growers for such diverse materials as crystalline sapphire, quartz, and laser host materials. For such materials, it is either prohibitively expensive or even physically impossible to fabricate monolithic pieces with the required size. In these cases, it is preferable to optically bond two or more elements together with a technique such as Chemically Activated Direct Bonding (CADB{copyright}). CADB is an epoxy-free bonding method that produces bulk-strength bonded samples with negligible optical loss and excellent environmental robustness. The authors have demonstrated CADB for a variety of different laser glasses and crystals. For this project, they will bond quartz samples together to determine the suitability of the resulting assemblies for large aperture high power laser optics. The assemblies will be evaluated in terms of their transmitted wavefront error, and other optical properties.
Date: December 9, 2010
Creator: Bayramian, A
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Development of Trivalent Ytterbium Doped Fluorapatites for Diode-Pumped Laser Applications

Description: One of the major motivators of this work is the Mercury Project, which is a 1 kW scalable diode-pumped solid-state laser system under development at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). Major goals include 100 J pulses, 10% wallplug efficiency, 10 Hz repetition rate, and a 5 times diffraction limited beam. To achieve these goals the Mercury laser incorporates ytterbium doped Sr{sub 5}(PO{sub 4}){sub 3}F (S-FAP) as the amplifier gain medium. The primary focus of this thesis is a full understanding of the properties of this material which are necessary for proper design and modeling of the system. Ytterbium doped fluorapatites, which were previously investigated at LLNL, were found to be ideal candidate materials for a high power amplifier systems providing high absorption and emission cross sections, long radiative lifetimes, and high efficiency. A family of barium substituted S-FAP crystals were grown in an effort to modify the pump and emission bandwidths for application to broadband diode pumping and short pulse generation. Crystals of Yb{sup 3+}:Sr{sub 5-x}Ba{sub x}(PO{sub 4}){sub 3}F where x < 1 showed homogeneous lines offering 8.4 nm (1.8 times enhancement) of absorption bandwidth and 6.9 nm (1.4 times enhancement) of emission bandwidth. The gain saturation fluence of Yb:S-FAP was measured to be 3.2 J/cm{sup 2} using a pump-probe experiment where the probe laser was a high intensity Q-switched master oscillator power amplifier system. The extraction data was successfully fit to a homogeneous extraction model. The crystal quality of Czochralski grown Yb:S-FAP crystals, which have been plagued by many defects such as cracking, cloudiness, bubble core, slip dislocations, and anomalous absorption, was investigated interferometrically and quantified by means of Power Spectral Density (PSD) plots. The very best crystals grown to date were found to have adequate crystal quality for use in the Mercury laser system. In addition to phase ...
Date: June 21, 2000
Creator: Bayramian, A.J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Survey of Laser Markets Relevant to Inertial Fusion Energy Drivers, information for National Research Council

Description: Development of a new technology for commercial application can be significantly accelerated by leveraging related technologies used in other markets. Synergies across multiple application domains attract research and development (R and D) talent - widening the innovation pipeline - and increases the market demand in common components and subsystems to provide performance improvements and cost reductions. For these reasons, driver development plans for inertial fusion energy (IFE) should consider the non-fusion technology base that can be lveraged for application to IFE. At this time, two laser driver technologies are being proposed for IFE: solid-state lasers (SSLs) and KrF gas (excimer) lasers. This document provides a brief survey of organizations actively engaged in these technologies. This is intended to facilitate comparison of the opportunities for leveraging the larger technical community for IFE laser driver development. They have included tables that summarize the commercial organizations selling solid-state and KrF lasers, and a brief summary of organizations actively engaged in R and D on these technologies.
Date: February 24, 2011
Creator: Bayramian, A. J.; Deri, R. J. & Erlandson, A. C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The LIFE Laser Design in Context: A Comparison to the State-of-the-Art

Description: The current point design for the LIFE laser leverages decades of solid-state laser development in order to achieve the performance and attributes required for inertial fusion energy. This document provides a brief comparison of the LIFE laser point design to other state-of-the-art solid-state lasers. Table I compares the attributes of the current LIFE laser point design to other systems. the state-of-the-art for single-shot performance at fusion-relevant beamline energies is exemplified by performance observed on the National Ignition Facility. The state-of-the-art for high average power is exemplified by the Northrup Grumman JHPSSL laser. Several items in Table I deal with the laser efficiency; a more detailed discussion of efficiency can be found in reference 5. The electrical-to-optical efficiency of the LIFE design exceeds that of reference 4 due to the availability of higher efficiency laser diode pumps (70% vs. {approx}50% used in reference 4). LIFE diode pumps are discussed in greater detail in reference 6. The 'beam steering' state of the art is represented by the deflection device that will be used in the LIFE laser, not a laser system. Inspection of Table I shows that most LIFE laser attributes have already been experimentally demonstrated. The two cases where the LIFE design is somewhat better than prior experimental work do not involve the development of new concepts: beamline power is increased simply by increasing aperture (as demonstrated by the power/aperture comparison in Table I), and efficiency increases are achieved by employing state-of-the-art diode pumps. In conclusion, the attributes anticipated for the LIFE laser are consistent with the demonstrated performance of existing solid-state lasers.
Date: March 21, 2011
Creator: Deri, R. J.; Bayramian, A. J. & Erlandson, A. C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Conduction band states and the 5d-4f laser transition of rare earth ion dopants

Description: We discuss how the interactions of the 5d orbital with the conduction band of the host medium play a crucial role in determining whether rare earth containing materials can serve as useful laser materials, based on their 5d-4f transition. To explore this issue, we examine the pump-probe spectra of Sm[sup 2+], Eu[sup 2+], and Ce[sup 3+] dopants in various fluoride and chloride crystals. In addition we suggest that the luminescence properties are also profoundly impacted by this interaction. The outstanding UV laser performance achieved by the Ce:LiSrAlF[sub 6] crystal is rationalized in terms of the reduced overlap of conduction band states with the cerium ions.
Date: December 31, 1996
Creator: Payne, S.A.; Marshall, C.D.; Bayramian, A. & Lawson, J.K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Laser System for Livermore's Mono Energetic Gamma-Ray Source

Description: A Mono-energetic Gamma-ray (MEGa-ray) source, based on Compton scattering of a high-intensity laser beam off a highly relativistic electron beam, requires highly specialized laser systems. To minimize the bandwidth of the {gamma}-ray beam, the scattering laser must have minimal bandwidth, but also match the electron beam depth of focus in length. This requires a {approx}1 J, 10 ps, fourier-transform-limited laser system. Also required is a high-brightness electron beam, best provided by a photoinjector. This electron source requires a second laser system with stringent requirements on the beam including flat transverse and longitudinal profiles and fast rise times. Furthermore, these systems must be synchronized to each other with ps-scale accuracy. Using a novel hyper-dispersion compressor configuration and advanced fiber amplifiers and diode-pumped Nd:YAG amplifiers, we have designed laser systems that meet these challenges for the X-band photoinjector and Compton-scattering source being built at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
Date: March 14, 2011
Creator: Gibson, D; Albert, F; Bayramian, A; Marsh, R; Messerly, M; Ebbers, C et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Analysis of Sr{sub 5{minus}x}Ba{sub x}(PO{sub 4}){sub 3}F:Yb{sup 3+} crystals for improved laser performance with diode-pumping

Description: Crystals of Yb{sup 3+}:Sr{sub 1-x}Ba{sub x}(PO{sub 4}){sub 3}F (0 < x < 5) have been investigated as a means to obtain broader absorption bands than are currently available with Yb{sup 3+}:S-FAP [Yb{sup 3+}: Sr{sub 5}(PO{sub 4}){sub 3}F], thereby improving diode-pumping efficiency for high peak power applications. Large diode-arrays have a FWHM pump band of >5 nm while the FWHM of the 900 nm absorption band for Yb:S-FAP is 5.5 nm; therefore, a significant amount of pump power can be wasted due to the nonideal overlap. Spectroscopic analysis of Yb:Sr{sub 5-x}Ba{sub x}-FAP crystals indicates that adding barium to the lattice increases the pump band to 13-16 run which more than compensates for the diode-array pump source without a detrimental reduction in absorption cross section. However, the emission cross section decreases by approximately half with relatively no effect on the emission lifetime. The small signal gain has also been measured and compared to the parent material Yb:S-FAP and emission cross sections have been determined by the method of reciprocity, the Filchtbauer-Ladenburg method, and small signal gain. Overall, Yb{sup 3+}:Sr{sub 5-x}Ba{sub x}(PO{sub 4}){sub 3}F crystals appear to achieve the goal of nearly matching the favorable thermal and laser performance properties of Yb:S-FAP while having a broader absorption band to better accommodate diode pumping.
Date: February 19, 1997
Creator: Schaffers, K.I.; Bayramian, A.J.; Marshall, C.D.; Tassano, J.B. & Payne, S.A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Laser properties of an improved average-power Nd-doped phosphate glass

Description: The Nd-doped phosphate laser glass described herein can withstand 2.3 times greater thermal loading without fracture, compared to APG-1 (commercially-available average-power glass from Schott Glass Technologies). The enhanced thermal loading capability is established on the basis of the intrinsic thermomechanical properties (expansion, conduction, fracture toughness, and Young`s modulus), and by direct thermally-induced fracture experiments using Ar-ion laser heating of the samples. This Nd-doped phosphate glass (referred to as APG-t) is found to be characterized by a 29% lower gain cross section and a 25% longer low-concentration emission lifetime.
Date: March 15, 1995
Creator: Payne, S.A.; Marshall, C.D. & Bayramian, A.J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Removal of Lattice Imperfections that Impact the Optical Quality of Ti:Sapphire using Advanced Magnetorheological Finishing Techniques

Description: Advanced magnetorheological finishing (MRF) techniques have been applied to Ti:sapphire crystals to compensate for sub-millimeter lattice distortions that occur during the crystal growing process. Precise optical corrections are made by imprinting topographical structure onto the crystal surfaces to cancel out the effects of the lattice distortion in the transmitted wavefront. This novel technique significantly improves the optical quality for crystals of this type and sets the stage for increasing the availability of high-quality large-aperture sapphire and Ti:sapphire optics in critical applications.
Date: February 26, 2008
Creator: Menapace, J A; Schaffers, K I; Bayramian, A J; Davis, P J; Ebbers, C A; Wolfe, J E et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Yttrium Calcium Oxyborate for high average power frequency doubling and OPCPA

Description: Significant progress has been achieved recently in the growth of Yttrium Calcium Oxyborate (YCOB) crystals. Boules have been grown capable of producing large aperture nonlinear crystal plates suitable for high average power frequency conversion or optical parametric chirped pulse amplification (OPCPA). With a large aperture (5.5 cm x 8.5 cm) YCOB crystal we have demonstrated a record 227 W of 523.5nm light (22.7 J/pulse, 10 Hz, 14 ns). We have also demonstrated the applicability of YCOB for 1053 nm OPCPA.
Date: June 20, 2006
Creator: Liao, Z M; Jovanovic, I; Ebbers, C A; Bayramian, A; Schaffers, K; Caird, J et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A Laser Technology Test Facility for Laser Inertial Fusion Energy (LIFE)

Description: A LIFE laser driver needs to be designed and operated which meets the rigorous requirements of the NIF laser system while operating at high average power, and operate for a lifetime of &gt;30 years. Ignition on NIF will serve to demonstrate laser driver functionality, operation of the Mercury laser system at LLNL demonstrates the ability of a diode-pumped solid-state laser to run at high average power, but the operational lifetime &gt;30 yrs remains to be proven. A Laser Technology test Facility (LTF) has been designed to specifically address this issue. The LTF is a 100-Hz diode-pumped solid-state laser system intended for accelerated testing of the diodes, gain media, optics, frequency converters and final optics, providing system statistics for billion shot class tests. These statistics will be utilized for material and technology development as well as economic and reliability models for LIFE laser drivers.
Date: October 6, 2009
Creator: Bayramian, A J; Campbell, R W; Ebbers, C A; Freitas, B L; Latkowski, J; Molander, W A et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

New tunable lasers for potential use in LIDAR systems

Description: We discuss the optical and laser properties of two new tunable laser crystals, Ce:LiSrAlF{sub 6} and Cr:ZnSe. These crystals are unique in that they provide a practical alternative to optical parametric oscillators as a means of generating tunable radiation in the near ultraviolet and mid-infrared regions (their tuning ranges are at least 285-315 nm and 2.2-2.8 microns, respectively). While these crystals are relatively untested in field deployment, they are promising and likely to be useful in the near future.
Date: June 1996
Creator: Payne, S. A.; Page, R. H.; Marshall, C. D.; Schaffers, K. I.; Bayramian, A. J. & Krupke, W. F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Properties of a new average power Nd-doped phosphate laser glass

Description: The Nd-doped phosphate laser glass described herein can withstand 2.3 times greater thermal loading without fracture, compared to APG-1 (commercially-available average-power glass from Schott Glass Technologies). The enhanced thermal loading capability is established on the basis of the intrinsic thermomechanical properties and by direct thermally-induced fracture experiments using Ar-ion laser heating of the samples. This Nd-doped phosphate glass (referred to as APG-t) is found to be characterized by a 29% lower gain cross section and a 25% longer low-concentration emission lifetime.
Date: March 9, 1995
Creator: Payne, S. A.; Marshall, C. D.; Bayramian, A. J.; Wilke, G. D. & Hayden, J. S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Removal of Lattice Imperfections that Impact the Optical Quality of Ti:Sapphire using Advanced Magnetorheological Finishing Techniques

Description: Ti:sapphire has become the premier lasing medium material for use in solid-state femtosecond high-peak power laser systems because of its wide wavelength tuning range. With a tuneable range from 680 to 1100 nm, peaking at 800 nm, Ti:sapphire lasing crystals can easily be tuned to the required pump wavelength and provide very high pump brightness due to their good beam quality and high output power of typically several watts. Femtosecond lasers are used for precision cutting and machining of materials ranging from steel to tooth enamel to delicate heart tissue and high explosives. These ultra-short pulses are too brief to transfer heat or shock to the material being cut, which means that cutting, drilling, and machining occur with virtually no damage to surrounding material. Furthermore, these lasers can cut with high precision, making hairline cuts of less than 100 microns in thick materials along a computer-generated path. Extension of laser output to higher energies is limited by the size of the amplification medium. Yields of high quality large diameter crystals have been constrained by lattice distortions that may appear in the boule limiting the usable area from which high quality optics can be harvested. Lattice distortions affect the transmitted wavefront of these optics which ultimately limits the high-end power output and efficiency of the laser system, particularly when operated in multi-pass mode. To make matters even more complicated, Ti:sapphire is extremely hard (Mohs hardness of 9 with diamond being 10) which makes it extremely difficult to accurately polish using conventional methods without subsurface damage or significant wavefront error. In this presentation, we demonstrate for the first time that Magnetorheological finishing (MRF) can be used to compensate for the lattice distortions in Ti:sapphire by perturbing the transmitted wavefront. The advanced MRF techniques developed allow for precise polishing of the optical inverse ...
Date: October 9, 2007
Creator: Menapace, J A; Schaffers, K I; Bayramian, A J; Davis, P J; Ebbers, C A; Wolfe, J E et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Short-pulse Laser Capability on the Mercury Laser System

Description: Applications using high energy ''petawatt-class'' laser drivers operating at repetition rates beyond 0.01 Hz are only now being envisioned. The Mercury laser system is designed to operate at 100 J/pulse at 10 Hz. We investigate the potential of configuring the Mercury laser to produce a rep-rated, ''petawatt-class'' source. The Mercury laser is a prototype of a high energy, high repetition rate source (100 J, 10 Hz). The design of the Mercury laser is based on the ability to scale in energy through scaling in aperture. Mercury is one of several 100 J, high repetition rate (10 Hz) lasers sources currently under development (HALNA, LUCIA, POLARIS). We examine the possibility of using Mercury as a pump source for a high irradiance ''petawatt-class'' source: either as a pump laser for an average power Ti:Sapphire laser, or as a pump laser for OPCPA based on YCa{sub 4}O(BO{sub 3}){sub 3} (YCOB), ideally producing a source approaching 30 J /30 fs /10 Hz--a high repetition rate petawatt. A comparison of the two systems with nominal configurations and efficiencies is shown in Table 1.
Date: June 22, 2006
Creator: Ebbers, C; Armstrong, P; Bayramian, A; Barty, C J; Bibeau, C; Britten, J et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department