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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

Precision short-pulse damage test station utilizing optical parametric chirped-pulse amplification

Description: The next generation of high-energy petawatt (HEPW)-class lasers will utilize multilayer dielectric diffraction gratings for pulse compression, due to their high efficiency and high damage threshold for picosecond pulses. The peak power of HEPW lasers will be determined by the aperture and damage threshold of the final dielectric grating in the pulse compressor and final focusing optics. We have developed a short-pulse damage test station for accurate determination of the damage threshold of the optics used on future HEPW lasers. Our damage test station is based on a highly stable, high-beam-quality optical parametric chirped-pulse amplifier (OPCPA) operating at 1053 nm at a repetition rate of 10 Hz. We present the design of our OPCPA system pumped by a commercial Q-switched pump laser and the results of the full system characterization. Initial short-pulse damage experiments in the far field using our system have been performed.
Date: March 22, 2004
Creator: Jovanovic, I; Brown, C; Wattellier, B; Nielsen, N; Molander, W; Stuart, B et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

An Overview of High Energy Short Pulse Technology for Advanced Radiography of Laser Fusion Experiments

Description: The technical challenges and motivations for high-energy, short-pulse generation with NIF-class, Nd:glass laser systems are reviewed. High energy short pulse generation (multi-kilojoule, picosecond pulses) will be possible via the adaptation of chirped pulse amplification laser techniques on the NIF. Development of meter-scale, high efficiency, high-damage-threshold final optics is a key technical challenge. In addition, deployment of HEPW pulses on NIF is constrained by existing laser infrastructure and requires new, compact compressor designs and short-pulse, fiber-based, seed-laser systems. The key motivations for high energy petawatt pulses on NIF is briefly outlined and includes high-energy, x-ray radiography, proton beam radiography, proton isochoric heating and tests of the fast ignitor concept for inertial confinement fusion.
Date: June 18, 2004
Creator: Barty, C J; Key, M; Britten, J; Beach, R; Beer, G; Brown, C et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department