High Power Laser Science and Engineering
Colin Danson, Jianqiang Zhu
Volume: 7 Issue 3
20 Article(s)
High Energy Density Physics and High Power Lasers
Y. J. Gu, O. Klimo, Ph. Nicolaï, S. Shekhanov, S. Weber, and V. T. Tikhonchuk

Processes of laser energy absorption and electron heating in an expanding plasma in the range of irradiances $I\unicode[STIX]{x1D706}^{2}=10^{15}{-}10^{16}~\text{W}\,\cdot \,\unicode[STIX]{x03BC}\text{m}^{2}/\text{cm}^{2}$ are studied with the aid of kinetic simulations. The results show a strong reflection due to stimulated Brillouin scattering and a significant collisionless absorption related to stimulated Raman scattering near and below the quarter critical density. Also presented are parametric decay instability and resonant excitation of plasma waves near the critical density. All these processes result in the excitation of high-amplitude electron plasma waves and electron acceleration. The spectrum of scattered radiation is significantly modified by secondary parametric processes, which provide information on the spatial localization of nonlinear absorption and hot electron characteristics. The considered domain of laser and plasma parameters is relevant for the shock ignition scheme of inertial confinement fusion.

High Power Laser Science and Engineering
Jan. 01, 1900
  • Vol. 7 Issue 3 03000e39 (2019)
  • Reviews
    Colin N. Danson, Constantin Haefner, Jake Bromage, Thomas Butcher, Jean-Christophe F. Chanteloup, Enam A. Chowdhury, Almantas Galvanauskas, Leonida A. Gizzi, Joachim Hein, David I. Hillier, Nicholas W. Hopps, Yoshiaki Kato, Efim A. Khazanov, Ryosuke Kodama, Georg Korn, Ruxin Li, Yutong Li, Jens Limpert, Jingui Ma, Chang Hee Nam, David Neely, Dimitrios Papadopoulos, Rory R. Penman, Liejia Qian, Jorge J. Rocca, Andrey A. Shaykin, Craig W. Siders, Christopher Spindloe, Sándor Szatmári, Raoul M. G. M. Trines, Jianqiang Zhu, Ping Zhu, and Jonathan D. Zuegel

    In the 2015 review paper ‘Petawatt Class Lasers Worldwide’ a comprehensive overview of the current status of high-power facilities of ${>}200~\text{TW}$ was presented. This was largely based on facility specifications, with some description of their uses, for instance in fundamental ultra-high-intensity interactions, secondary source generation, and inertial confinement fusion (ICF). With the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics being awarded to Professors Donna Strickland and Gerard Mourou for the development of the technique of chirped pulse amplification (CPA), which made these lasers possible, we celebrate by providing a comprehensive update of the current status of ultra-high-power lasers and demonstrate how the technology has developed. We are now in the era of multi-petawatt facilities coming online, with 100 PW lasers being proposed and even under construction. In addition to this there is a pull towards development of industrial and multi-disciplinary applications, which demands much higher repetition rates, delivering high-average powers with higher efficiencies and the use of alternative wavelengths: mid-IR facilities. So apart from a comprehensive update of the current global status, we want to look at what technologies are to be deployed to get to these new regimes, and some of the critical issues facing their development.

    Jan. 01, 1900
  • Vol. 7 Issue 3 03000e54 (2019)
  • Research Articles
    M. Cerchez, R. Prasad, B. Aurand, A. L. Giesecke, S. Spickermann, S. Brauckmann, E. Aktan, M. Swantusch, M. Toncian, T. Toncian, and O. Willi

    With the latest configuration, the Ti:Sa laser system ARCTURUS (Düsseldorf University, Germany) operates with a double-chirped pulse amplification (CPA) architecture delivering pulses with an energy of 7 J before compression in each of the two high-power beams. By the implementation of a plasma mirror system, the intrinsic laser contrast is enhanced up to $10^{-12}$ on a time scale of hundreds of picoseconds, before the main peak. The laser system has been used in various configurations for advanced experiments and different studies have been carried out employing the high-power laser beams as a single, high-intensity interaction beam ($I\approx 10^{20}~\text{W}/\text{cm}^{2}$), in dual- and multi-beam configurations or in a pump–probe arrangement.

    Jan. 01, 1900
  • Vol. 7 Issue 3 03000e37 (2019)
  • I. V. Aleksandrova, and E. R. Koresheva

    In inertial fusion energy (IFE) research, a number of technological issues have focused on the ability to inexpensively fabricate large quantities of free-standing targets (FSTs) by developing a specialized layering module with repeatable operation. Of central importance for the progress towards plasma generation with intense thermonuclear reactions is the fuel structure, which must be isotropic to ensure that fusion will take place. In this report, the results of modeling the FST layering time, $\unicode[STIX]{x1D70F}_{\text{Form}}$, are presented for targets which are shells of ${\sim}4~\text{mm}$ in diameter with a wall made from compact and porous polymers. The layer thickness is ${\sim}200~\unicode[STIX]{x03BC}\text{m}$ for pure solid fuel and ${\sim}250~\unicode[STIX]{x03BC}\text{m}$ for in-porous solid fuel. Computation shows $\unicode[STIX]{x1D70F}_{\text{Form}} s for $\text{D}_{2}$ fuel and $\unicode[STIX]{x1D70F}_{\text{Form}} s for D–T fuel. This is an excellent result in terms of minimizing the tritium inventory, producing IFE targets in massive numbers (${\sim}$1 million each day) and obtaining the fuel as isotropic ultrafine layers. It is shown experimentally that such small layering time can be realized by the FST layering method in line-moving, high-gain direct-drive cryogenic targets using $n$-fold-spiral layering channels at $n=2,3$.

    Jan. 01, 1900
  • Vol. 7 Issue 3 03000e38 (2019)
  • Bao Du, Hong-Bo Cai, Wen-Shuai Zhang, Shi-Yang Zou, Jing Chen, and Shao-Ping Zhu

    The Weibel instability and the induced magnetic field are of great importance for both astrophysics and inertial confinement fusion. Because of the stochasticity of this magnetic field, its main wavelength and mean strength, which are key characteristics of the Weibel instability, are still unobtainable experimentally. In this paper, a theoretical model based on the autocorrelation tensor shows that in proton radiography of the Weibel-instability-induced magnetic field, the proton flux density on the detection plane can be related to the energy spectrum of the magnetic field. It allows us to extract the main wavelength and mean strength of the two-dimensionally isotropic and stochastic magnetic field directly from proton radiography for the first time. Numerical calculations are conducted to verify our theory and show good consistency between pre-set values and the results extracted from proton radiography.

    Jan. 01, 1900
  • Vol. 7 Issue 3 03000e40 (2019)
  • Hang Yuan, Yulei Wang, Qiang Yuan, Dongxia Hu, Can Cui, Zhaohong Liu, Sensen Li, Yi Chen, Feng Jing, and Zhiwei Lü

    Laser pulses of 200 ps with extremely high intensities and high energies are sufficient to satisfy the demand of shock ignition, which is an alternative path to ignition in inertial confinement fusion (ICF). This paper reports a type of Brillouin scheme to obtain high-intensity 200-ps laser pulses, where the pulse durations are a challenge for conventional pulsed laser amplification systems. In the amplification process, excited Brillouin acoustic waves fulfill the nonlinear optical effect through which the high energy of a long pump pulse is entirely transferred to a 200-ps laser pulse. This method was introduced and achieved within the SG-III prototype system in China. Compared favorably with the intensity of $2~\text{GW}/\text{cm}^{2}$ in existing ICF laser drivers, a 6.96-$\text{GW}/\text{cm}^{2}$ pulse with a width of 170 ps was obtained in our experiment. The practical scalability of the results to larger ICF laser drivers is discussed.

    Jan. 01, 1900
  • Vol. 7 Issue 3 03000e41 (2019)
  • Issa Tamer, Sebastian Keppler, Jörg Körner, Marco Hornung, Marco Hellwing, Frank Schorcht, Joachim Hein, and Malte C. Kaluza

    Thermal profile modification of an active material in a laser amplifier via optical pumping results in a change in the material’s refractive index, and causes thermal expansion and stress, eventually leading to spatial phase aberrations, or even permanent material damage. For this purpose, knowledge of the 3D spatio-temporal thermal profile, which can currently only be retrieved via numerical simulations, is critical for joule-class laser amplifiers to reveal potentially dangerous thermal features within the pumped active materials. In this investigation, a detailed, spatio-temporal numerical simulation was constructed and tested for accuracy against surface thermal measurements of various end-pumped $\text{Yb}^{3+}$-doped laser-active materials. The measurements and simulations show an excellent agreement and the model was successfully applied to a joule-class $\text{Yb}^{3+}$-based amplifier currently operating in the POLARIS laser system at the Friedrich-Schiller-University and Helmholtz-Institute Jena in Germany.

    Jan. 01, 1900
  • Vol. 7 Issue 3 03000e42 (2019)
  • He Xu, Sheng-Ping Chen, and Zong-Fu Jiang

    Pumped by rectangular-shaped dissipative soliton resonance (DSR) pulses at 1030 nm, selective excitations of Raman Stokes lines of up to third order with extinction ratios of 8 dB and fifth order with extinction ratios of 4 dB are demonstrated experimentally. The rectangular DSR pulses are generated from a dual-amplifier ytterbium-doped figure-of-eight mode-locked laser constructed using all $10~\unicode[STIX]{x03BC}\text{m}$-core-diameter large-mode-area fibers. By varying the two pump powers, the peak power of the output DSR pulses can be continuously tuned from 10 W to 100 W and from 30 W to 200 W, respectively, for two different lengths of the nonlinear amplifying loop mirror inside the cavity. High-frequency components are found to correspond to parts of the pulse in the trailing edge when two bandpass filters are used to separate the propagated pulse. Consequently, it provides an all-fiber technique to achieve selective excitation of the Raman shift by adjusting the peak power of the DSR pulse.

    Jan. 01, 1900
  • Vol. 7 Issue 3 03000e43 (2019)
  • Chenyi Su, Binglin Shen, Xingqi Xu, Chunsheng Xia, and Bailiang Pan

    A theoretical model is established to describe the thermal dynamics and laser kinetics in a static pulsed exciplex pumped Cs–Ar laser (XPAL). The temporal behaviors of both the laser output power and temperature rise in XPALs with a long-time pulse and multi-pulse operation modes are calculated and analyzed. In the case of long-time pulse pumping, the results show that the initial laser power increases with a rise in the initial operating temperature, but the laser power decreases quickly due to heat accumulation. In the case of multi-pulse operation, simulation results show that the optimal laser output power can be obtained by appropriately increasing the initial temperature and reducing the thermal relaxation time.

    Jan. 01, 1900
  • Vol. 7 Issue 3 03000e44 (2019)
  • D. R. Rusby, C. D. Armstrong, G. G. Scott, M. King, P. McKenna, and D. Neely

    After a population of laser-driven hot electrons traverses a limited thickness solid target, these electrons will encounter the rear surface, creating TV/m fields that heavily influence the subsequent hot-electron propagation. Electrons that fail to overcome the electrostatic potential reflux back into the target. Those electrons that do overcome the field will escape the target. Here, using the particle-in-cell (PIC) code EPOCH and particle tracking of a large population of macro-particles, we investigate the refluxing and escaping electron populations, as well as the magnitude, spatial and temporal evolution of the rear surface electrostatic fields. The temperature of both the escaping and refluxing electrons is reduced by 30%–50% when compared to the initial hot-electron temperature as a function of intensity between $10^{19}$ and $10^{21}~~\text{W}/\text{cm}^{2}$. Using particle tracking we conclude that the highest energy internal hot electrons are guaranteed to escape up to a threshold energy, below which only a small fraction are able to escape the target. We also examine the temporal characteristic of energy changes of the refluxing and escaping electrons and show that the majority of the energy change is as a result of the temporally evolving electric field that forms on the rear surface.

    Jan. 01, 1900
  • Vol. 7 Issue 3 03000e45 (2019)
  • Xumin Cai, Xiuqing Lin, Guohui Li, Junye Lu, Ziyu Hu, and Guozong Zheng

    In this paper, a highly deuterated potassium dihydrogen phosphate (DKDP) crystal with sizes up to $318~\text{mm}\times 312~\text{mm}\times 265~\text{mm}$ was grown by the rapid-growth method. The synthesis tank device was specially designed to synthesize a higher deuterium concentration and high-purity DKDP solution. The deuterium content of the as-grown crystal, which was 97.9%, was determined by two methods, including infrared (IR) spectroscopy and thermo-gravimetric analysis (TGA) measurements. The performances of the 97.9% DKDP crystal, including transmission, absorption coefficient, and laser-induced damage threshold (LIDT) were measured. The results indicate that, in the near-infrared band, the transmission of the 97.9% DKDP crystal is higher than that of KDP and 70% DKDP crystals, and the absorption coefficient is lower. The LIDT of the crystal reached $23.2~\text{J}\cdot \text{cm}^{-2}$ (R-on-1, 1064 nm, 3 ns), which meets the engineering requirements for use in optical applications.

    Jan. 01, 1900
  • Vol. 7 Issue 3 03000e46 (2019)
  • Zhengru Guo, Qiang Hao, Junsong Peng, and Heping Zeng

    We report on environmentally stable long-cavity ultrashort erbium-doped fiber lasers, which self-start mode-locking at quite low thresholds by using spectrally filtered and phase-biased nonlinear amplifying long-loop mirrors. By employing 100-m polarization-maintaining fiber (PMF) in the nonlinear loop, the fundamental repetition rate reaches 1.84 MHz and no practical limitation is found to further decrease the repetition rate. The filter used in the long loop not only suppresses Kelly sidebands of the solitons, but also eliminates the amplified spontaneous emission which exists widely in low-repetition-rate ultrafast fiber lasers. The bandwidth of the filter is optimized by using a numerical model. The laser emits approximately 3-ps pulses with an energy of 17.4 pJ, which is further boosted to $1.5~\unicode[STIX]{x03BC}\text{J}$ by using a fiber amplifier.

    Jan. 01, 1900
  • Vol. 7 Issue 3 03000e47 (2019)
  • Xue Dong, Xingchen Pan, Cheng Liu, and Jianqiang Zhu

    A three-wavelength coherent-modulation-imaging (CMI) technique is proposed to simultaneously measure the fundamental, second and third harmonics of a laser driver in one snapshot. Laser beams at three wavelengths (1053 nm, 526.5 nm and 351 nm) were simultaneously incident on a random phase plate to generate hybrid diffraction patterns, and a modified CMI algorithm was adopted to reconstruct the complex amplitude of each wavelength from one diffraction intensity frame. The validity of this proposed technique was verified using both numerical simulation and experimental analyses. Compared to commonly used measurement methods, this proposed method has several advantages, including a compact structure, convenient operation and high accuracy.

    Jan. 01, 1900
  • Vol. 7 Issue 3 03000e48 (2019)
  • Zhiyu He, Guo Jia, Fan Zhang, Xiuguang Huang, Zhiheng Fang, Jiaqing Dong, Hua Shu, Junjian Ye, Zhiyong Xie, Yuchun Tu, Qili Zhang, Erfu Guo, Wenbing Pei, and Sizu Fu

    Although the streaked optical pyrometer (SOP) system has been widely adopted in shock temperature measurements, its reliability has always been of concern. Here, two calibrated Planckian radiators with different color temperatures were used to calibrate and verify the SOP system by comparing the two calibration standards using both multi-channel and single-channel methods. A high-color-temperature standard lamp and a multi-channel filter were specifically designed for the measurement system. To verify the reliability of the SOP system, the relative deviation between the measured data and the standard value of less than 5% was calibrated out, which demonstrates the reliability of the SOP system. Furthermore, a method to analyze the uncertainty and sensitivity of the SOP system is proposed. A series of laser-induced shock experiments were conducted at the ‘Shenguang-II’ laser facility to verify the reliability of the SOP system for temperature measurements at tens of thousands of kelvin. The measured temperature of the quartz in our experiments agreed fairly well with previous works, which serves as evidence for the reliability of the SOP system.

    Jan. 01, 1900
  • Vol. 7 Issue 3 03000e49 (2019)
  • K. M. George, J. T. Morrison, S. Feister, G. K. Ngirmang, J. R. Smith, A. J. Klim, J. Snyder, D. Austin, W. Erbsen, K. D. Frische, J. Nees, C. Orban, E. A. Chowdhury, and W. M. Roquemore

    High-intensity laser–plasma interactions produce a wide array of energetic particles and beams with promising applications. Unfortunately, the high repetition rate and high average power requirements for many applications are not satisfied by the lasers, optics, targets, and diagnostics currently employed. Here, we aim to address the need for high-repetition-rate targets and optics through the use of liquids. A novel nozzle assembly is used to generate high-velocity, laminar-flowing liquid microjets which are compatible with a low-vacuum environment, generate little to no debris, and exhibit precise positional and dimensional tolerances. Jets, droplets, submicron-thick sheets, and other exotic configurations are characterized with pump–probe shadowgraphy to evaluate their use as targets. To demonstrate a high-repetition-rate, consumable, liquid optical element, we present a plasma mirror created by a submicron-thick liquid sheet. This plasma mirror provides etalon-like anti-reflection properties in the low field of 0.1% and high reflectivity as a plasma, 69%, at a repetition rate of 1 kHz. Practical considerations of fluid compatibility, in-vacuum operation, and estimates of maximum repetition rate are addressed. The targets and optics presented here demonstrate a potential technique for enabling the operation of laser–plasma interactions at high repetition rates.

    Jan. 01, 1900
  • Vol. 7 Issue 3 03000e50 (2019)
  • G. Cristoforetti, L. Antonelli, D. Mancelli, S. Atzeni, F. Baffigi, F. Barbato, D. Batani, G. Boutoux, F. D’Amato, J. Dostal, R. Dudzak, E. Filippov, Y. J. Gu, L. Juha, O. Klimo, M. Krus, S. Malko, A. S. Martynenko, Ph. Nicolai, V. Ospina, S. Pikuz, O. Renner, J. Santos, V. T. Tikhonchuk, J. Trela, S. Viciani, L. Volpe, S. Weber, and L. A. Gizzi

    Laser–plasma interaction (LPI) at intensities $10^{15}{-}10^{16}~\text{W}\cdot \text{cm}^{-2}$ is dominated by parametric instabilities which can be responsible for a significant amount of non-collisional absorption and generate large fluxes of high-energy nonthermal electrons. Such a regime is of paramount importance for inertial confinement fusion (ICF) and in particular for the shock ignition scheme. In this paper we report on an experiment carried out at the Prague Asterix Laser System (PALS) facility to investigate the extent and time history of stimulated Raman scattering (SRS) and two-plasmon decay (TPD) instabilities, driven by the interaction of an infrared laser pulse at an intensity ${\sim}1.2\times 10^{16}~\text{W}\cdot \text{cm}^{-2}$ with a ${\sim}100~\unicode[STIX]{x03BC}\text{m}$ scalelength plasma produced from irradiation of a flat plastic target. The laser pulse duration (300 ps) and the high value of plasma temperature (${\sim}4~\text{keV}$) expected from hydrodynamic simulations make these results interesting for a deeper understanding of LPI in shock ignition conditions. Experimental results show that absolute TPD/SRS, driven at a quarter of the critical density, and convective SRS, driven at lower plasma densities, are well separated in time, with absolute instabilities driven at early times of interaction and convective backward SRS emerging at the laser peak and persisting all over the tail of the pulse. Side-scattering SRS, driven at low plasma densities, is also clearly observed. Experimental results are compared to fully kinetic large-scale, two-dimensional simulations. Particle-in-cell results, beyond reproducing the framework delineated by the experimental measurements, reveal the importance of filamentation instability in ruling the onset of SRS and stimulated Brillouin scattering instabilities and confirm the crucial role of collisionless absorption in the LPI energy balance.

    Jan. 01, 1900
  • Vol. 7 Issue 3 03000e51 (2019)
  • Peng Qin, Sijia Wang, Minglie Hu, and Youjian Song

    Fluctuation of pump power is one of the major sources of temporal and intensity noise in femtosecond fiber lasers. In this work, the transfer functions between the relative intensity noise (RIN) of the pump laser diode (LD) and the output RIN, between the RIN of the pump LD and timing jitter of femtosecond fiber lasers are systematically studied. It is demonstrated, for the first time to our knowledge, that the amplitude of the pump RIN transfer function can be effectively decreased by an intra-cavity narrow band-pass filter. In particular, for normal-dispersion lasers, the 3-dB bandwidth of the transfer function can also be narrowed by two-thirds, with a steeper falling edge. Furthermore, with the narrow band-pass filtering, the transfer function is almost independent of the net intra-cavity dispersion due to amplifier similariton formation. The proposed scheme can effectively isolate the pump-induced noise without the need of complex active pump LD control and intra-cavity dispersion management, thus providing an easy way for practical high-power, high-stability femtosecond fiber laser design and related high-precision applications outside the laboratory.

    Jan. 01, 1900
  • Vol. 7 Issue 3 03000e52 (2019)
  • F. Bisesto, M. Galletti, M. P. Anania, M. Ferrario, R. Pompili, M. Botton, A. Zigler, F. Consoli, M. Salvadori, P. Andreoli, and C. Verona

    Laser–plasma interactions have been studied in detail over the past twenty years, as they show great potential for the next generation of particle accelerators. The interaction between an ultra-intense laser and a solid-state target produces a huge amount of particles: electrons and photons (X-rays and $\unicode[STIX]{x03B3}$-rays) at early stages of the process, with protons and ions following them. At SPARC_LAB Test Facility we have set up two diagnostic lines to perform simultaneous temporally resolved measurements on both electrons and protons.

    Jan. 01, 1900
  • Vol. 7 Issue 3 03000e53 (2019)
  • Wenpeng Wang, Cheng Jiang, Shasha Li, Hao Dong, Baifei Shen, Yuxin Leng, Ruxin Li, and Zhizhan Xu

    Multidimensional instabilities always develop with time during the process of radiation pressure acceleration, and are detrimental to the generation of monoenergetic proton beams. In this paper, a sharp-front laser is proposed to irradiate a triple-layer target (the proton layer is set between two carbon ion layers) and studied in theory and simulations. It is found that the thin proton layer can be accelerated once to hundreds of MeV with monoenergetic spectra only during the hole-boring (HB) stage. The carbon ions move behind the proton layer in the light-sail (LS) stage, which can shield any further interaction between the rear part of the laser and the proton layer. In this way, proton beam instabilities can be reduced to a certain extent during the entire acceleration process. It is hoped such a mechanism can provide a feasible way to improve the beam quality for proton therapy and other applications.

    Jan. 01, 1900
  • Vol. 7 Issue 3 03000e55 (2019)
  • Fabrizio Bisesto, Mario Galletti, Maria Pia Anania, Massimo Ferrario, Riccardo Pompili, Mordechai Botton, Elad Schleifer, and Arie Zigler

    Interaction between high-intensity lasers with solid targets is the key process in a wide range of novel laser-based particle accelerator schemes, as well as electromagnetic radiation sources. Common to all the processes is the generation of femtosecond pulses of relativistic electrons emitted from the targets as forerunners of the later-time principal products of the interaction scheme. In this paper, some diagnostics employed in laser–solid matter interaction experiments related to electrons, protons, ions, electromagnetic pulses (EMPs) and X-rays are reviewed. Then, we present our experimental study regarding fast electrons and EMPs utilizing a femtosecond-resolution detector previously adopted only in accelerator facilities.

    Jan. 01, 1900
  • Vol. 7 Issue 3 03000e56 (2019)
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