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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

High-resolution wavefront control using liquid crystal spatial light modulators

Description: Liquid crystal spatial light modulator technology appropriate for high-resolution wavefront control has recently become commercially available. Some of these devices have several hundred thousand controllable degrees of freedom, more than two orders of magnitude greater than the largest conventional deformable mirror. We will present results of experiments to characterize the optical properties of these devices and to utilize them to correct aberrations in an optical system. We will also present application scenarios for these devices in high-power laser systems.
Date: July 20, 1999
Creator: Bauman, B J; Brase, J M; Brown, C G; Cooke, J B; Kartz, M W; Olivier, S S et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Update on Optical Design of Adaptive Optics System at Lick Observatory

Description: In 1999, we presented our plan to upgrade the adaptive optics (AO) system on the Lick Observatory Shane telescope (3m) from a prototype instrument pressed into field service to a facility instrument. This paper updates the progress of that plan and details several important improvements in the alignment and calibration of the AO bench. The paper also includes a discussion of the problems seen in the original design of the tip/tilt (t/t) sensor used in laser guide star mode, and how these problems were corrected with excellent results.
Date: July 31, 2001
Creator: Bauman, B J; Gavel, D T; Waltjen, K E; Freeze, G J; Hurd, R L; Gates, E I et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Performance of a Nova beamline with high damage threshold glass

Description: We report on measurements made on a Nova beamline whose output amplifier stages contain new high damage threshold, platinum particle-free laser glass. We project future operating limits for the Nova ten beam amplifier system. 4 refs.
Date: November 19, 1987
Creator: Bibeau, C.; Ehrlich, R.B.; Lawson, J.K.; Laumann, C.W.; Pennington, D.M.; Weiland, T.L. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

High-resolution wavefront control of high-power laser systems

Description: 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 ...
Date: July 8, 1999
Creator: Brase, J; Brown, C; Carrano, C; Kartz, M; Olivier, S; Pennington, D et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

High-energy electron, positron, ion and nuclear spectroscopy in ultra-intense laser-solid experiments on the petawatt

Description: The LLNL Petawatt Laser has achieved focused intensities up to 6 x 20 W/cm{sup 2}, which has opened a new, higher energy regime of relativistic laser-plasma interactions in which the quiver energies of the target electrons exceed the energy thresholds for many nuclear phenomena. We will describe recent experiments in which we have observed electrons accelerated to 100 MeV, photo-nuclear fission, and positron-electron pair creation.
Date: September 16, 1999
Creator: Brown, C; Christl, M; Cowan, T E; Fakahashi, Y; Fountain, W; Hatchett, S et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

High energy electrons, positrons and photonuclear reactions in petawatt laser-solid experiments

Description: The Petawatt laser at LLNL has opened a new regime of high-energy laser-matter interactions in which the quiver motion of plasma electrons is fully relativistic with energies extending well above the threshold for nuclear processes. We have observed that, in addition to the large flux of several MeV electrons ponderomotively expelled from the ultra-intense laser focus, there is a high energy component of electrons extending to -100 MeV, apparently from relativistic self-focusing and plasma acceleration in the underdense pre-formed plasma. The generation of hard bremsstrahlung cascade as these electrons traverse the solid target material, and the resulting photo-nuclear reactions, nuclear fission, and positron-electron pair production are described.
Date: September 9, 1999
Creator: Cowan, T E; Hunt, A W; Johnson, J; Perry, M D; Fountain, W; Hatchett, S et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Progress in Fast Ignitor Research With the Nova Petawatt Laser Facility

Description: The physics of fast ignition is being studied using a petawatt laser facility at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Performance of the PW laser with deformable mirror wavefront control giving intensities up to 3x10{sup 20} Wcm{sup {minus}2} is described. Measurements of the efficiency of conversion of laser energy to relativistic electrons and of their energy spectrum and angular distribution including an observed narrow beam angle of {+-}15{degree}, are reported. Heating by the electrons to near 1keV in solid density CD{sub 2} is inferred from the thermo-nuclear neutron yield. Estimates suggest an optimized gain of 300x if the National Ignition Facility were to be adapted for fast ignition.
Date: November 10, 1998
Creator: Cowan, T. E.; Hammel, B. A.; Hatchett, S. P.; Henry, E. A.; Key, M. H.; Kilkenny, J. D. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Gigagauss magnetic field generation from high intensity laser solid interactions

Description: Intense laser (>10<sup>21</sup> W/cm2 ) sources using pulse compression techniques in the sub-picosecond time frame have been used to create dynamic electric field strenghs in excess of 100 Megavolts/micron with associated magnetic field strengths in the Gigagauss regime. We have begun a series of experiments using the Petawatt Laser system at LLNL to determine the potential of these sources for a variety of applications. Hot electron spectra from laser-target interactions in Au have been measured with energies up to 100 MeV. Hot x-ray production has been measured using filtered thermoluminescent dosimeters and threshold nuclear activation ({gamma},n) from giant resonance interactions. High resolution radiographs through a {rho}r > 165 gm/cm&sup2; have been obtained. Dose levels in the x-ray band from 2-8 MeV have been measured at the level of several Rads at one meter from the target for a single pulse. The physics of these sources and the scaling relationships and laser technology required to provide high magnetic fields will be discussed. Results of preliminary magnetic field calculations will be presented along with potential applications of this technology and estimates of the fundamental scaling limits for future development.
Date: October 15, 1998
Creator: Cowan, T; Moran, M; Hammer, J; Hatchett, S; Hunt, A; Key, M H et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Thermally induced dephasing in periodically poled KTiOPO4 nonlinear crystals

Description: Experimental data that exhibits a continuous-wave, second-harmonic intensity threshold (15 kW/cm{sup 2}) that causes two-photon nonlinear absorption which leads to time-dependent photochromic damage in periodically poled KTiOPO{sub 4} is presented and verified through a thermal dephasing model.
Date: March 18, 2004
Creator: Dawson, J W; Pennington, D M; Jovanovic, I; Liao, Z M; Payne, S A; Drobshoff, A D et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Multi-watt 589nm fiber laser source

Description: We have demonstrated 3.5W of 589nm light from a fiber laser using periodically poled stoichiometric Lithium Tantalate (PPSLT) as the frequency conversion crystal. The system employs 938nm and 1583nm fiber lasers, which were sum-frequency mixed in PPSLT to generate 589nm light. The 938nm fiber laser consists of a single frequency diode laser master oscillator (200mW), which was amplified in two stages to &gt;15W using cladding pumped Nd{sup 3+} fiber amplifiers. The fiber amplifiers operate at 938nm and minimize amplified spontaneous emission at 1088nm by employing a specialty fiber design, which maximizes the core size relative to the cladding diameter. This design allows the 3-level laser system to operate at high inversion, thus making it competitive with the competing 1088nm 4-level laser transition. At 15W, the 938nm laser has an M{sup 2} of 1.1 and good polarization (correctable with a quarter and half wave plate to &gt;15:1). The 1583nm fiber laser consists of a Koheras 1583nm fiber DFB laser that is pre-amplified to 100mW, phase modulated and then amplified to 14W in a commercial IPG fiber amplifier. As a part of our research efforts we are also investigating pulsed laser formats and power scaling of the 589nm system. We will discuss the fiber laser design and operation as well as our results in power scaling at 589nm.
Date: January 19, 2006
Creator: Dawson, J. W.; Drobshoff, A. D.; Beach, R. J.; Messerly, M. J.; Payne, S. A.; Brown A. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

High Power 938nm Cladding Pumped Fiber Laser

Description: We have developed a Nd:doped cladding pumped fiber amplifier, which operates at 938nm with greater than 2W of output power. The core co-dopants were specifically chosen to enhance emission at 938nm. The fiber was liquid nitrogen cooled in order to achieve four-level laser operation on a laser transition that is normally three level at room temperature, thus permitting efficient cladding pumping of the amplifier. Wavelength selective attenuation was induced by bending the fiber around a mandrel, which permitted near complete suppression of amplified spontaneous emission at 1088nm. We are presently seeking to scale the output of this laser to 10W. We will discuss the fiber and laser design issues involved in scaling the laser to the 10W power level and present our most recent results.
Date: December 26, 2002
Creator: Dawson, J; Beach, R; Brobshoff, A; Liao, Z; Payne, S; Pennington, D et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

938 nm Nd-Doped High Power Cladding Pumped Fiber Amplifier

Description: 2.1W of 938nm light has been produced in an Nd{sup 3+} doped fiber amplifier. Wavelength dependent bend losses can be employed to minimize 1088nm amplified spontaneous emission giving the optical fiber a distinct advantage over bulk media.
Date: September 19, 2002
Creator: Dawson, J; Beach, R; Drobshoff, A; Liao, Z; Pennington, D; Payne, S et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

469nm Fiber Laser Source

Description: We have demonstrated 466mW of 469nm light from a frequency doubled continuous wave fiber laser. The system consisted of a 938nm single frequency laser diode master oscillator, which was amplified in two stages to 5 Watts using cladding pumped Nd{sup 3+} fiber amplifiers and then frequency doubled in a single pass through periodically poled KTP. The 3cm long PPKTP crystal was made by Raicol Crystals Ltd. with a period of 5.9 {micro}m and had a phase match temperature of 47 degrees Centigrade. The beam was focused to a 1/e{sup 2} diameter in the crystal of 29 {micro}m. Overall conversion efficiency was 11% and the results agreed well with standard models. Our 938nm fiber amplifier design minimizes amplified spontaneous emission at 1088nm by employing an optimized core to cladding size ratio. This design allows the 3-level transition to operate at high inversion, thus making it competitive with the 1088nm 4-level transition. We have also carefully chosen the fiber coil diameter to help suppress propagation of wavelengths longer than 938 nm. At 2 Watts, the 938nm laser had an M{sup 2} of 1.1 and good polarization (correctable with a quarter and half wave plate to &gt;10:1).
Date: January 20, 2005
Creator: Drobshoff, A; Dawson, J W; Pennington, D M; Payne, S A & Beach, R
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Developing beam phasing on the Nova laser

Description: We are presently adding the capability to irradiate indirectly-driven Nova targets with two rings of illumination inside each end of the hohlraum for studies of time-dependent second Legendre (P2) and time- integrated fourth Legendre (P4) flux asymmetry control. The rings will be formed with specially designed kinoform phase plates (KPPs), which will direct each half of each beam into two separate rings that are nearly uniform azimuthally. The timing and temporal pulse shape of the outer rings will be controlled independently from those of the inner rings, allowing for phasing of the pulse shapes to control time dependent asymmetry. Modifications to the incident beam diagnostics (IBDS) will enable us to verify that acceptable levels of power balance among the contributing segments of each ring have been achieved on each shot. Current techniques for precision beam pointing and timing are expected to be sufficiently accurate for these experiments. We present a design for an affordable retrofit to achieve beam phasing on Nova, results of a simplified demonstration, and calculations highlighting the anticipated benefits.
Date: March 10, 1997
Creator: Ehrlich, R.B.; Amendt, P.A.; Dixit, S.N.; Hammel, B.A.; Kalantar, D.H.; Pennington, D.M. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Recent Science and Engineering Results with the Laser Guidestar Adaptive Optics System at Lick Observatory

Description: The Lick Observatory laser guide star adaptive optics system has undergone continual improvement and testing as it is being integrated as a facility science instrument on the Shane 3 meter telescope. Both Natural Guide Star (NGS) and Laser Guide Star (LGS) modes are now used in science observing programs. We report on system performance results as derived from data taken on both science and engineering nights and also describe the newly developed on-line techniques for seeing and system performance characterization. We also describe the future enhancements to the Lick system that will enable additional science goals such as long-exposure spectroscopy.
Date: October 17, 2002
Creator: Gavel, D T; Gates, E; Max, C; Olivier, S; Bauman, B; Pennington, D et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Measurements of deep heating generated by ultra-intense laser-plasma interactions

Description: We measure 300 eV thermal temperatures at near-solid densities by x-ray spectroscopy of tracer layers buried up to 30 pm inside CH slabs which are irradiated by a 0.5 kJ, 5 ps laser. X-ray imaging data suggest that collimated electron transport produces comparable temperatures as deep as 200 pm, and unexpectedly show the heated regions to be 50-120 pm-diameter rings. The data indicate that intense lasers can directionally heat solid matter to high temperatures over large distances; the results are relevant for fast-ignition inertial-confinement fusion and hot, dense plasma research
Date: August 25, 1999
Creator: Hatchett, S P; Key, M H; Koch, J A; Lee, R W; Pennington, D; Stephens, R B et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

High energy electrons,nuclear phenomena andheating in petawatt laser-solid experiments

Description: The Petawatt laser at LLNL has opened a new regime of laser-matter interactions in which the quiver motion of plasma electrons is fully relativistic with energies extending well above the threshold for nuclear processes. In addition to -few MeV ponderomotive electrons produced in ultra-intense laser-solid interactions, we have found a high energy component of electrons extending to -100 MeV apparently from relativistic self-focusing and plasma acceleration in the underdense pre-formed plasma. The generation of hard bremsstrahlung, photo-nuclear reactions, and preliminary evidence for positron-electron pair production will be discussed.
Date: January 15, 1999
Creator: Hatchett, S P; W, A; Cowan, T. E.; Ditmire, T.; Dong, B.; Fountain, W. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Electron, Photon, and Ion Beams from the Relativistic Interaction of Petawatt Laser Pulses with Solid Targets

Description: In our Petawatt laser experiments several hundred joules of 1 {micro}m laser light in 0.5-5.0 ps pulses with intensities up to 3 x 10{sup 20}Wcm{sup -2} were incident on solid targets producing a strongly relativistic interaction. The energy content, spectra, and angular patterns of the photon, electron, and ion radiations were diagnosed in a number of ways, including several novel (to laser physics) nuclear activation techniques. From the beamed bremsstrahlung we infer that about 40-50% of the laser energy is converted to broadly beamed hot electrons. Their direction centroid varies from shot to shot, but the beam has a consistent width. Extraordinarily luminous ion beams almost precisely normal to the rear of various targets are seen--up to 3 x 10{sup 13} protons with kT{sub ion} {approx} several MeV representing {approx}6% of the laser energy. We observe ion energies up to at least 55 MeV. The ions appear to originate from the rear target surfaces. The edge of the ion beam is very sharp, and collimation increases with ion energy. At the highest energies, a narrow feature appears in the ion spectra, and the apparent size of the emitting spot is smaller than the full back surface area. Any ion emission from the front of the targets is much less than from the rear and is not sharply beamed. The hot electrons generate a Debye sheath with electrostatic fields of order MV per micron which apparently accelerate the ions.
Date: November 12, 1999
Creator: Hatchett, S.P.; Brown, C.G.; Cowan, T.E.; Henry, E.A.; Johnson, J.; Key, M.H. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Precision damage tests of multilayer dielectric gratings for high-energy petawatt lasers

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. We have developed a short-pulse damage test station for accurate determination of the damage threshold of the optics used on future HEPW lasers. The design and performance of the damage test laser source, based on a highly stable, high-beam-quality optical parametric chirped-pulse amplifier, is presented. Our short-pulse damage measurement methodology and results are discussed. The damage initiation is attributed to multiphoton-induced avalanche ionization, strongly dependent on the electric field enhancement in the grating groove structure and surface defects. Measurement results of the dependence of damage threshold on the pulse width, angular dependence of damage threshold of diffraction gratings, and an investigation of short-pulse conditioning effects are presented. We report record &gt;4 J/cm{sup 2} right section surface damage thresholds obtained on multilayer dielectric diffraction gratings at 76.5 incidence angles for 10-ps pulses.
Date: November 8, 2004
Creator: Jovanovic, I; Brown, C G; Stuart, B C; Molander, W; Nielsen, N; Wattellier, B et al.
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

Studies of the relativistic electron source and related phenomena in Petawatt Laser matter interactions

Description: The interaction of laser radiation with solid targets at 1 petawatt power and intensity up to 3x10{sup 20} Wcm{sup -2} has been studied with emphasis on relativistic electrons and high energy ions. Secondary effects including Bremsstrahlung radiation, nuclear interactions and heating have been characterized. A collimated beam of protons with up to 55 MeV energy is emitted normal to the rear surface of thin targets and its characteristics and origin are discussed. The significance of the data for radiography, fast ignition and proton beam applications is summarized.
Date: September 27, 1999
Creator: Key, M H; Campbell, E M; Cowan, T E; Hatchett, S P; Henry, E A; Koch, J A et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

X-ray imaging to characterize MeV electronics propagation through plastic targets

Description: A high intensity laser pulse incident on an overdense plasma generates high energy electrons at the critical surface which propagate into the plasma. The details of this propagation is critical to the Fast Ignition process. The energetic electrons emerge as a jet on the far side, but the spread and propagation direction of the jet within the plasma is not well known. By embedding several thin high Z layers in a CH film one can directly image the progress of the electron beam. It loses enough energy to heat the medium through which it travels to hundreds of eV. At that temperature a film, even buried under CH, emits sufficiently hard thermal x-rays to allow imaging the heated area with an x-ray pinhole camera. The film can be thin enough to also see the emissions from another layer near the front of the film. If these two images are visible simultaneously, one can measure the beam spread and propagation direction within the plastic.
Date: September 3, 1999
Creator: Key, M H; Stephens, R B; Koch, J & Pennington, D
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Potential of Fast Ignition and Related Experiments with A Petawatt Laser Facility

Description: A model of energy gain induced by fast ignition of thermonuclear burn in compressed deuterium-tritium fuel, is used to show the potential for 300x gain with a driver energy of 1 M J, if the National Ignition Facility (NIF) were to be adapted for fast ignition. The physics of fast ignition has been studied using a petawatt laser facility at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Laser plasma interaction in a preformed plasma on a solid target leads to relativistic self-focusing evidenced by x-ray images. Absorption of the laser radiation transfers energy to an intense source of relativistic electrons. Good conversion efficiency into a wide angular distribution is reported. Heating by the electrons in solid density CD{sub 2} produces 0.5 to 1/keV temperature, inferred from the D-D thermo-nuclear neutron yield.
Date: April 6, 2000
Creator: Key, M.H.; Campbell, E.M.; Cowan, T.E.; Hatchett, S.P.; Henry, E.A.; Koch, J.A. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department