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Extreme prepulse contrast utilizing cascaded-optical parametric amplification

Description: It has been shown recently that an optical parametric chirped-pulse amplifier can be easily reconfigured into a cascaded-optical parametric amplifier (COPA), enabling complete prepulse removal and optical switching with a window defined by the pump pulse duration. We have demonstrated instrument-limited measurement of the COPA prepulse contrast >1.4 x 10{sup 11} using 30-mJ pulses. The COPA technique is applicable to all energy ranges and pulse durations. A convenient millijoule-scale implementation of this technique is presented using a single, large-aspect-ratio quasi-phase-matched nonlinear crystal.
Date: June 15, 2006
Creator: Jovanovic, I; Haefner, C; Wattellier, B & Barty, C J
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Optical switching and contrast enhancement in intense laser systems by cascaded optical parametric amplification

Description: Optical parametric chirped-pulse amplification (OPCPA) can be used to improve the prepulse contrast in chirped-pulse amplification systems by amplifying the main pulse with a total saturated OPCPA gain, while not affecting the preceding prepulses of the seed oscillator mode-locked pulse train. We show that a simple modification of a multistage OPCPA system into a cascaded optical parametric amplifier (COPA) results in an optical switch and extreme contrast enhancement which can completely eliminate the preceding and trailing oscillator pulses. Instrument-limited measurement of prepulse contrast ratio of 1.4 x 10{sup 11} is demonstrated from COPA at a 30-mJ level.
Date: September 6, 2005
Creator: Jovanovic, I; Haefner, C; Wattellier, B & Barty, C J
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

System Modeling of kJ-class Petawatt Lasers at LLNL

Description: Advanced Radiographic Capability (ARC) project at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) is designed to produce energetic, ultrafast x-rays in the range of 70-100 keV for backlighting NIF targets. The chirped pulse amplification (CPA) laser system will deliver kilo-Joule pulses at an adjustable pulse duration from 1 ps to 50 ps. System complexity requires sophisticated simulation and modeling tools for design, performance prediction, and comprehension of experimental results. We provide a brief overview of ARC, present our main modeling tools, and describe important performance predictions. The laser system (Fig. 1) consists of an all-fiber front end, including chirped-fiber Bragg grating (CFBG) stretchers. The beam after the final fiber amplifier is split into two apertures and spatially shaped. The split beam first seeds a regenerative amplifier and is then amplified in a multi-pass Nd:glass amplifier. Next, the preamplified chirped pulse is split in time into four identical replicas and injected into one NIF Quad. At the output of the NIF beamline, each of the eight amplified pulses is compressed in an individual, folded, four-grating compressor. Compressor grating pairs have slightly different groove densities to enable compact folding geometry and eliminate adjacent beam cross-talk. Pulse duration is adjustable with a small, rack-mounted compressor in the front-end. We use non-sequential ray-tracing software, FRED for design and layout of the optical system. Currently, our FRED model includes all of the optical components from the output of the fiber front end to the target center (Fig. 2). CAD designed opto-mechanical components are imported into our FRED model to provide a complete system description. In addition to incoherent ray tracing and scattering analysis, FRED uses Gaussian beam decomposition to model coherent beam propagation. Neglecting nonlinear effects, we can obtain a nearly complete frequency domain description of the ARC beam at different stages in the system. We employ ...
Date: April 14, 2010
Creator: Shverdin, M Y; Rushford, M; Henesian, M A; Boley, C; Haefner, C; Heebner, J E et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Development of diagnostics for high-energy petawatt pulses

Description: Applications accessed by high energy petawatt (HEPW) lasers require complete, single-shot characterization of pulse spatial, temporal, and energy characteristics. We describe techniques that enable single-shot characterization of the temporal shape and pulse contrast of HEPW pulses with >10{sup 8} dynamic range over a ns-temporal window. Approaches to measure pulse durations that span two orders of magnitude will be discussed. Finally, we describe a novel implementation of spectrally dispersed two-beam interferometry for measurement of the phase difference between two HEPW pulses. This technique can be applied to dispersion and B-integral measurements in a HEPW system, as well as to achieve precise timing of nanosecond pulses. Lastly, spectrally dispersed interferometry represents an ideal technique to enable coherent addition of HEPW pulses for production of ultrahigh intensities.
Date: June 15, 2006
Creator: Jovanovic, I; Hernandez, J; Appel, G; Barker, D; Betts, S; Brewer, W et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department