High Power Laser Science and Engineering
Colin Danson, Jianqiang Zhu
Volume: 7 Issue 2
16 Article(s)
High Energy Density Physics and High Power Lasers
L. G. Huang, H. Takabe, and T. E. Cowan

In order to understand the transport of fast electrons within solid density targets driven by an optical high power laser, we have numerically investigated the dynamics and structure of strong self-generated magnetic fields in such experiments. Here we present a systematic study of the bulk magnetic field generation due to the ponderomotive current, Weibel-like instability and resistivity gradient between two solid layers. Using particle-in-cell simulations, we observe the effect of varying the laser and target parameters, including laser intensity, focal size, incident angle, preplasma scale length, target thickness and material and experimental geometry. The simulation results suggest that the strongest magnetic field is generated with laser incident angles and preplasma scale lengths that maximize laser absorption efficiency. The recent commissioning of experimental platforms equipped with both optical high power laser and X-ray free electron laser (XFEL), such as European XFEL-HED, LCLS-MEC and SACLA beamlines, provides unprecedented opportunities to probe the self-generated bulk magnetic field by X-ray polarimetry via Faraday rotation with simultaneous high spatial and temporal resolution. We expect that this systematic numerical investigation will pave the way to design and optimize near future experimental setups to probe the magnetic fields in such experimental platforms.

High Power Laser Science and Engineering
Apr. 23, 2019
  • Vol. 7 Issue 2 02000e22 (2019)
  • High Energy Density Physics and High Power Lasers
    C. D. Armstrong, C. M. Brenner, C. Jones, D. R. Rusby, Z. E. Davidson, Y. Zhang, J. Wragg, S. Richards, C. Spindloe, P. Oliveira, M. Notley, R. Clarke, S. R. Mirfayzi, S. Kar, Y. Li, T. Scott, P. McKenna, and D. Neely

    Laser–solid interactions are highly suited as a potential source of high energy X-rays for nondestructive imaging. A bright, energetic X-ray pulse can be driven from a small source, making it ideal for high resolution X-ray radiography. By limiting the lateral dimensions of the target we are able to confine the region over which X-rays are produced, enabling imaging with enhanced resolution and contrast. Using constrained targets we demonstrate experimentally a $(20\pm 3)~\unicode[STIX]{x03BC}\text{m}$ X-ray source, improving the image quality compared to unconstrained foil targets. Modelling demonstrates that a larger sheath field envelope around the perimeter of the constrained targets increases the proportion of electron current that recirculates through the target, driving a brighter source of X-rays.

    High Power Laser Science and Engineering
    Apr. 25, 2019
  • Vol. 7 Issue 2 02000e24 (2019)
  • High Energy Density Physics and High Power Lasers
    Fernando Brandi, and Leonida Antonio Gizzi

    Implementation of laser-plasma-based acceleration stages in user-oriented facilities requires the definition and deployment of appropriate diagnostic methodologies to monitor and control the acceleration process. An overview is given here of optical diagnostics for density measurement in laser-plasma acceleration stages, with emphasis on well-established and easily implemented approaches. Diagnostics for both neutral gas and free-electron number density are considered, highlighting real-time measurement capabilities. Optical interferometry, in its various configurations, from standard two-arm to more advanced common-path designs, is discussed, along with spectroscopic techniques such as Stark broadening and Raman scattering. A critical analysis of the diagnostics presented is given concerning their implementation in laser-plasma acceleration stages for the production of high-quality GeV electron bunches.

    High Power Laser Science and Engineering
    Apr. 26, 2019
  • Vol. 7 Issue 2 02000e26 (2019)
  • High Energy Density Physics and High Power Lasers
    Pengfei Wang, Beijie Shao, Hongpeng Su, Xinlin Lv, Yanyan Li, Yujie Peng, and Yuxin Leng

    We present a high-peak-power, near-infrared laser system based on optical parametric chirped pulse amplification pumped by a home-built picosecond pumping laser, which can generate over 40 mJ energy at 1450 nm center wavelength and operate at 100 Hz repetition rate. Subsequently, the chirped laser pulses are compressed down to 60 fs with 26.5 mJ energy, corresponding to a peak power of 0.44 TW. This high-energy, long-wavelength laser source is highly suitable for driving various nonlinear optical phenomena, such as high-order harmonic generation and high-flux coherent extreme ultraviolet/soft X-ray radiation.

    High Power Laser Science and Engineering
    May. 16, 2019
  • Vol. 7 Issue 2 02000e32 (2019)
  • Research Articles
    Ping Li, Wei Wang, Jingqin Su, and Xiaofeng Wei

    FM-to-AM (frequency modulation-to-amplitude modulation) conversion caused by nonuniform spectral transmission of broadband beam is harmful to high-power laser facility. Smoothing by spectral dispersion (SSD) beam is a special broadband beam for its monochromatic feature at the given time and space on the near field. The traditional method which uses the optical spectral transfer function as filters cannot accurately describe its AM characteristics. This paper presents the theoretical analysis of the etalon effect for SSD beam. With a low-order approximation, the analytic model of the temporal shape of SSD beam is obtained for the first time, which gives the detailed AM characteristics at local and integral aspects, such as the variation of ripples width and amplitude in general situation. We also analyze the FM-to-AM conversion on the focal plane; in the focusing process, the lens simply acts as an integrator to smooth the AM of SSD beam. Because AM control is necessary for the near field to avoid optics damage and for the far field to ensure an optimal interaction of laser–target, our investigations could provide some important phenomena and rules for pulse shape control.

    Apr. 08, 2019
  • Vol. 7 Issue 2 02000e21 (2019)
  • John Pasley, Georgia Andrianaki, Andreas Baroutsos, Dimitri Batani, Emmanouil P. Benis, Marco Borghesi, Eugene Clark, Donna Cook, Emmanuel D’Humieres, Vasilios Dimitriou, Brendan Dromey, Michael Ehret, Ioannis Fitilis, Anastasios Grigoriadis, Satya Kar, Evaggelos Kaselouris, Ondrej Klimo, Michel Koenig, Kyriaki Kosma, George Koundourakis, Milan Kucharik, Aveen Lavery, Jiri Limpouch, Yannis Orphanos, Nektarios A. Papadogiannis, Stelios Petrakis, Dave Riley, Maria Serena Rivetta, Laura Tejada Pascual, João Jorge Santos, Alexandros Skoulakis, Ioannis Tazes, Vladimir Tikhonchuk, Jocelain Trela, Calliope Tsitou, Luca Volpe, Steven White, Mark Yeung, and Michael Tatarakis

    The Erasmus Plus programme ‘Innovative Education and Training in high power laser plasmas’, otherwise known as PowerLaPs, is described. The PowerLaPs programme employs an innovative paradigm in that it is a multi-centre programme where teaching takes place in five separate institutes with a range of different aims and styles of delivery. The ‘in class’ time is limited to four weeks a year, and the programme spans two years. PowerLaPs aims to train students from across Europe in theoretical, applied and laboratory skills relevant to the pursuit of research in laser–plasma interaction physics and inertial confinement fusion (ICF). Lectures are intermingled with laboratory sessions and continuous assessment activities. The programme, which is led by workers from the Technological Educational Institute (TEI) of Crete, and supported by co-workers from the Queen’s University Belfast, the University of Bordeaux, the Czech Technical University in Prague, Ecole Polytechnique, the University of Ioannina, the University of Salamanca and the University of York, has just completed its first year. Thus far three Learning Teaching Training (LTT) activities have been held, at the Queen’s University Belfast, the University of Bordeaux and the Centre for Plasma Physics and Lasers (CPPL) of TEI Crete. The last of these was a two-week long Intensive Programme (IP), while the activities at the other two universities were each five days in length. Thus far work has concentrated upon training in both theoretical and experimental work in plasma physics, high power laser–matter interactions and high energy density physics. The nature of the programme will be described in detail and some metrics relating to the activities carried out to date will be presented.

    Apr. 25, 2019
  • Vol. 7 Issue 2 02000e23 (2019)
  • L. Volpe, R. Fedosejevs, G. Gatti, J. A. Pérez-Hernández, C. Méndez, J. Apiñaniz, X. Vaisseau, C. Salgado, M. Huault, S. Malko, G. Zeraouli, V. Ospina, A. Longman, D. De Luis, K. Li, O. Varela, E. García, I. Hernández, J. D. Pisonero, J. García Ajates, J. M. Alvarez, C. García, M. Rico, D. Arana, J. Hernández-Toro, and L. Roso

    The Centro de Laseres Pulsados in Salamanca, Spain has recently started operation phase and the first user access period on the 6 J 30 fs 200 TW system (VEGA 2) already started at the beginning of 2018. In this paper we report on two commissioning experiments recently performed on the VEGA 2 system in preparation for the user campaign. VEGA 2 system has been tested in different configurations depending on the focusing optics and targets used. One configuration (long focal length $F=130$ cm) is for underdense laser–matter interaction where VEGA 2 is focused onto a low density gas-jet generating electron beams (via laser wake field acceleration mechanism) with maximum energy up to 500 MeV and an X-ray betatron source with a 10 keV critical energy. A second configuration (short focal length $F=40$ cm) is for overdense laser–matter interaction where VEGA 2 is focused onto a $5~\unicode[STIX]{x03BC}\text{m}$ thick Al target generating a proton beam with a maximum energy of 10 MeV and temperature of 2.5 MeV. In this paper we present preliminary experimental results.

    Apr. 26, 2019
  • Vol. 7 Issue 2 02000e25 (2019)
  • Rongtao Su, Pengfei Ma, Pu Zhou, Zilun Chen, Xiaolin Wang, Yanxing Ma, Jian Wu, and Xiaojun Xu

    High-peak-power transform-limited narrow-linewidth nanosecond all-fiber lasers are desired in a range of applications. However, their linewidths will be broadened by self-phase modulation (SPM). We propose a novel concept that generates transform-limited laser pulses by temporally shaping the pulse seed. The impact of the pulse shape on SPM-induced spectral broadening was studied numerically and experimentally. It was found theoretically that the square-shape pulsed laser is immune to SPM-induced spectral broadening. Based on this principle, we built a high-peak-power, linearly polarized, square-shape nanosecond all-fiber laser in a master oscillator power amplifier (MOPA) configuration. Stimulated Brillouin scattering (SBS) limited peak powers of 4.02 kW, 5.06 kW, 6.52 kW and 9.30 kW were obtained at pulse widths of 8 ns, 7 ns, 6 ns and 5 ns. Thanks to the square-shape pulsed seed, the linewidths at maximum peak power remained at 129.5 MHz, 137.6 MHz, 156.2 MHz and 200.1 MHz, respectively, close to the transform-limited values of 110.8 MHz, 126.6 MHz, 147.7 MHz and 177.3 MHz.

    Apr. 26, 2019
  • Vol. 7 Issue 2 02000e27 (2019)
  • Yue Tao, and Sheng-Ping Chen

    We demonstrate an all-fiber high-power linearly polarized supercontinuum source with polarization-maintaining photonic crystal fibers (PM-PCFs) as the nonlinear medium. The source exhibits an average output power of 3.8 W with a flat spectrum from 480 nm to 2100 nm at the $-$10 dB level, except for the residual pump peak. The polarization extinction ratio (PER) is measured to be greater than 20 dB at selected sample wavelength points (532 nm, 1064 nm and 1550 nm) at the highest pump power level and greater than 20 dB at all wavelengths from 800 nm to 1500 nm at the low pump power level. We also experimentally study the spectral properties when the pump light propagates along different axes of the PM-PCF. The results show that propagating parallel to the slow axis enables a broader spectrum in the PM-PCF in this case, probably due to matching of the dispersion properties with the pump light, which is qualitatively in accordance with the numerical simulation. To our best knowledge, this is the first demonstration of a watt-level linearly polarized supercontinuum source generated from PM-PCFs in an all-fiber structure.

    Apr. 26, 2019
  • Vol. 7 Issue 2 02000e28 (2019)
  • Fan Gao, Xin Wang, Tiancheng Yu, Xiang Zhang, and Xiao Yuan

    A band-stop angular filter (BSF) based on hump volume Bragg gratings (HVBGs) is proposed. Band-stop filtering in a two-stage amplifier laser system is discussed and simulated. Simulation results show that small-scale self-focusing effects in the laser system can be effectively suppressed with the BSF due to the control of fast nonlinear growth in a specific range of spatial frequencies in the laser beam. Near-field modulation of the output beam from the laser system was decreased from 2.69 to 1.37 by controlling the fast nonlinear growth of spatial frequencies ranging from $0.6~\text{mm}^{-1}$ to $1.2~\text{mm}^{-1}$ with the BSF. In addition, the BSF can be used in a plug-and-play scheme and has potential applications in high-power laser systems.

    Apr. 30, 2019
  • Vol. 7 Issue 2 02000e29 (2019)
  • Tiancheng Yu, Jiangtao Guo, Gang Xia, Xiang Zhang, Fan Gao, Jiangfeng Wang, Wei Fan, and Xiao Yuan

    The output performances of a bidirectional ring amplifier with twin pulses are demonstrated. Compared to the extraction efficiency of 32% for single-pulse injection, the extraction efficiency of stored energy for twin-pulse injection with bidirectional propagation is increased to 60%. The maximum output energies of the twin pulses are 347 mJ and 351 mJ, and the output energy of a single pulse is only 373 mJ under the same amplifier operating conditions. The experimental results show that the bidirectional ring amplifier with twin pulses can achieve a higher extraction efficiency of stored energy at a lower operating fluence, and has potential applications in high-power and high-energy laser facilities.

    May. 02, 2019
  • Vol. 7 Issue 2 02000e30 (2019)
  • Kerong Jiao, Jian Shu, Hua Shen, Zhiwen Guan, Feiyan Yang, and Rihong Zhu

    Suppression of stimulated Raman scattering (SRS) by means of chirped and tilted fiber Bragg gratings (CTFBGs) has become a key topic. However, research on high-power systems is still lacking due to two problems. Firstly, after the inscription, there are a large number of hydroxyl compounds and hydrogen molecules in CTFBGs that cause significant heating due to their strong infrared absorption. Secondly, CTFBGs can couple Stokes light from the core to the cladding and the coating, which causes serious heating in the coating of the CTFBG. Aimed at overcoming these bottlenecks, a process that combines constant-low-temperature and variable-high-temperature annealing is used to reduce the thermal slope of the CTFBG. Also, a segmented-corrosion cladding power stripping technology is used on the CTFBG to remove the Stokes light which is coupled to the cladding, which solves the problem of overheating in the coating of the CTFBG. Thereby, a CTFBG with both a kilowatt-level power-carrying load and the ability to suppress SRS in a fiber laser has been developed. Further, we establish a kW-level CW oscillator to test the CTFBG. Experimental results demonstrate that the power-carrying load of the CTFBG is close to 1 kW, the thermal slope is lower than $0.015\,^{\circ }\text{C}/\text{W}$, and the SRS suppression ratio is nearly 23 dB.

    May. 14, 2019
  • Vol. 7 Issue 2 02000e31 (2019)
  • Dong Zhi, Tianyue Hou, Pengfei Ma, Yanxing Ma, Pu Zhou, Rumao Tao, Xiaolin Wang, and Lei Si

    High-power orbital angular momentum (OAM) beams have distinct advantages in improving capacity and data receiving for free-space optical communication systems at long distances. Utilizing the coherent combination of a beam array technique and helical phase approximation by a piston phase array, we have proposed a generating system for a novel high-power beam carrying OAM, which could overcome the power limitations of a common vortex phase modulator and a single beam. The characteristics of this generating method and the orthogonality of the generated OAM beams with different eigenstates have been theoretically analyzed and verified. Also a high-power OAM beam produced by coherent beam combination (CBC) of a six-element hexagonal fiber amplifier array has been experimentally implemented. Results show that the CBC technique utilized to control the piston phase differences among the array beams has a high efficiency of 96.3%. On the premise of CBC, we have obtained novel vortex beams carrying OAM of $\pm 1$ by applying an additional piston phase array modulation on the corresponding beam array. The experimental results agree approximately with the theoretical analysis. This work could be beneficial to areas that need high-power OAM beams, such as ultra-long distance free-space optical communications, biomedical treatments, and powerful trapping and manipulation under deep potential wells.

    May. 30, 2019
  • Vol. 7 Issue 2 02000e33 (2019)
  • Fan Gao, Baoxing Xiong, Xiang Zhang, and Xiao Yuan

    FM-to-AM conversion for angular filtering based on transmitted volume Bragg gratings (TBGs) is discussed. Simulation results show that a narrower spectral selectivity of TBGs led to stronger FM-to-AM conversion. Good angular selectivity and a wide bandwidth for the TBGs can be obtained by controlling the grating period and thickness. FM-to-AM conversion can be effectively suppressed and the distortion criterion for the filtered beam reduces to less than 5%. FM-to-AM conversion of TBGs is demonstrated in the ‘Shenguang’ facility, and the results are in good agreement with the simulation.

    Jan. 01, 1900
  • Vol. 7 Issue 2 02000e34 (2019)
  • Jie Guo, Wei Wang, Hua Lin, and Xiaoyan Liang

    We report on a high-repetition-rate, high-power continuously pumped Nd:GdVO4 regenerative amplifier. Numerical simulations successfully pinpoint the optimum working point free of bifurcation instability with simultaneous efficient energy extraction. At a repetition rate of 100 kHz, a maximum output power of 23 W was obtained with a pulse duration of 27 ps, corresponding to a pulse energy of $230~\unicode[STIX]{x03BC}\text{J}$. The system displayed an outstanding stability with a root mean square power noise as low as 0.3%. The geometry of the optical resonator and the pumping scheme enhanced output power in the $\text{TEM}_{00}$ mode with a single bulk crystal. Accordingly, nearly diffraction-limited beam quality was produced with $M^{2}\approx 1.2$ at full pump power.

    Jan. 01, 1900
  • Vol. 7 Issue 2 02000e35 (2019)
  • K. Q. Pan, D. Yang, L. Guo, Z. C. Li, S. W. Li, C. Y. Zheng, S. E. Jiang, B. H. Zhang, and X. T. He

    Laser interaction with an ultra-thin pre-structured target is investigated with the help of both two-dimensional and three-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations. With the existence of a periodic structure on the target surface, the laser seems to penetrate through the target at its fundamental frequency even if the plasma density of the target is much higher than the laser’s relativistically critical density. The particle-in-cell simulations show that the transmitted laser energy behind the pre-structured target is increased by about two orders of magnitude compared to that behind the flat target. Theoretical analyses show that the transmitted energy behind the pre-structured target is actually re-emitted by electron ‘islands’ formed by the surface plasma waves on the target surfaces. In other words, the radiation with the fundamental frequency is actually ‘surface emission’ on the target rear surface. Besides the intensity of the component with the fundamental frequency, the intensity of the high-order harmonics behind the pre-structured target is also much enhanced compared to that behind the flat target. The enhancement of the high-order harmonics is also related to the surface plasma waves generated on the target surfaces.

    Jan. 01, 1900
  • Vol. 7 Issue 2 02000e36 (2019)
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