Office of Technology Transfer – University of Michigan

Thin Disk Extraction During Pumping Laser Amplifier

Technology #6154

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Categories
Researchers
Vladimir Chvykov
Managed By
Richard Greeley
Publications
Transverse amplified spontaneous emission: The limiting factor for output energy of ultra-high power lasers;
Optics Communications; Vol. 312; pp. 216-221; 2014, 2014
Large aperture multi-pass amplifiers for high peak power lasers
Optics Communications. Volume 285, Issue 8, 15 April 2012, Pages 2134–2136, 2011

A thin disk extraction during pumping (EDP) laser amplifier for use in ultra-high peak-power laser systems has been developed at the University of Michigan. The resulting ultra-high peak-power laser systems that utilize the technology demonstrate increased repetition rates and average power values.

Design Details

High repetition rates and average power values are often required for many laser applications such as particle acceleration. Thin disk technology with diode laser pumping can achieve hundreds of kilowatts of output power in the CW-regime, kilohertz repetition rates and hundreds of millijoules of energy under nanosecond-pulse durations, and 100Hz repetition rates and 0.5J of energy in the picosecond and sub-picosecond pulse durations. Typical laser sources for such systems include Yb:YAG media which demonstrate low dissipated thermo energy and losses. However, these media disallow high doping thereby requiring multiple passes of pumping and amplification due to low absorption and gain. The media also suffer narrow emission spectra, limiting the output pulse duration in the picosecond and sub-picosecond range.

Extraction during pumping (EDP) achieves significant reductions (5-10%) in the losses associated with thin disk crystals. EDP can deliver up to four times more energy than a conventional amplifier and allows for kilojoule level energy extraction using existing technology. Whereas simple EDP can extract higher energies, it cannot increase the repetition rate due to thermo-distortion. However, EDP combined with highly-doped thin disk amplifiers which demonstrate low quenching of signal wavelengths and high thermoconductivity (e.g., Ti:Sapphire amplifiers) allows for new chirped pulse amplification (CPA) laser systems. Such CPA laser systems exhibit ultra-high and intense average power (up to petawatt pick power with kilohertz repetition rates). Overall, the technique leads to higher repetition rates and average power in ultra-high-power laser systems.

Applications

  • Ultra-high peak-power lasers with high repetition rate
  • Laser-based particle acceleration
  • Secondary x-ray and gamma-ray sources
  • Cancer treatment and diagnosis using nuclear particles
  • Fissile material monitoring (homeland security)

Advantages

  • Higher concentration of active ions in thin disk laser crystals
  • Wider emission spectra
  • Higher thermoconductivity
  • Compensation of higher quantum defect
  • Higher repetition rate and higher average power of ultra-high power laser systems