High Power Laser Science and Engineering
Colin Danson, Jianqiang Zhu

Schematic diagram of electromagnetic pulse generation.

Volume: 8 Issue 2
17 Article(s)
J. Qian, G. D. Wang, K. Y. Lou, D. Y. Shen, Q. Fu, and Q. Z. Zhao

White-light continuum can be induced by the interaction of intense femtosecond laser pulses with condensed materials. By using two orthogonal polarizers, a self-induced birefringence of continuum is observed when focusing femtosecond laser pulses into bulk fused silica. That is, the generated white-light continuum is synchronously modulated anisotropically while propagating in fused silica. Time-resolved detection confirms that self-induced birefringence of continuum shows a growth and saturation feature with time evolution. By adjusting laser energy, the transmitted intensity of continuum modulated by self-induced birefringence also varies correspondingly. Morphology analysis with time evolution indicates that it is the focused femtosecond laser pulses that induce anisotropic microstructures in bulk fused silica, and the anisotropic structures at the same time modulate the generated continuum.

May. 20, 2020
  • Vol. 8 Issue 2 02000e19 (2020)
  • Yao Zhao, Suming Weng, Zhengming Sheng, and Jianqiang Zhu

    Stimulated Raman scattering (SRS) in plasma in a non-eigenmode regime is studied theoretically and numerically. Different from normal SRS with the eigen electrostatic mode excited, the non-eigenmode SRS is developed at plasma density $n_{e}>0.25n_{c}$ when the laser amplitude is larger than a certain threshold. To satisfy the phase-matching conditions of frequency and wavenumber, the excited electrostatic mode has a constant frequency around half of the incident light frequency $\unicode[STIX]{x1D714}_{0}/2$, which is no longer the eigenmode of electron plasma wave $\unicode[STIX]{x1D714}_{pe}$. Both the scattered light and the electrostatic wave are trapped in plasma with their group velocities being zero. Super-hot electrons are produced by the non-eigen electrostatic wave. Our theoretical model is validated by particle-in-cell simulations. The SRS driven in this non-eigenmode regime is an important laser energy loss mechanism in the laser plasma interactions as long as the laser intensity is higher than $10^{15}~\text{W}/\text{cm}^{2}$.

    May. 22, 2020
  • Vol. 8 Issue 2 02000e21 (2020)
  • Fabrizio Consoli, Vladimir T. Tikhonchuk, Matthieu Bardon, Philip Bradford, David C. Carroll, Jakub Cikhardt, Mattia Cipriani, Robert J. Clarke, Thomas E. Cowan, Colin N. Danson, Riccardo De Angelis, Massimo De Marco, Jean-Luc Dubois, Bertrand Etchessahar, Alejandro Laso Garcia, David I. Hillier, Ales Honsa, Weiman Jiang, Viliam Kmetik, Josef Krása, Yutong Li, Frédéric Lubrano, Paul McKenna, Josefine Metzkes-Ng, Alexandre Poyé, Irene Prencipe, Piotr Ra?czka, Roland A. Smith, Roman Vrana, Nigel C. Woolsey, Egle Zemaityte, Yihang Zhang, Zhe Zhang, Bernhard Zielbauer, and David Neely

    This paper provides an up-to-date review of the problems related to the generation, detection and mitigation of strong electromagnetic pulses created in the interaction of high-power, high-energy laser pulses with different types of solid targets. It includes new experimental data obtained independently at several international laboratories. The mechanisms of electromagnetic field generation are analyzed and considered as a function of the intensity and the spectral range of emissions they produce. The major emphasis is put on the GHz frequency domain, which is the most damaging for electronics and may have important applications. The physics of electromagnetic emissions in other spectral domains, in particular THz and MHz, is also discussed. The theoretical models and numerical simulations are compared with the results of experimental measurements, with special attention to the methodology of measurements and complementary diagnostics. Understanding the underlying physical processes is the basis for developing techniques to mitigate the electromagnetic threat and to harness electromagnetic emissions, which may have promising applications.

    Jun. 09, 2020
  • Vol. 8 Issue 2 02000e22 (2020)
  • Saumyabrata Banerjee, Paul Mason, Jonathan Phillips, Jodie Smith, Thomas Butcher, Jacob Spear, Mariastefania De Vido, Gary Quinn, Danielle Clarke, Klaus Ertel, Cristina Hernandez-Gomez, Chris Edwards, and John Collier

    We report on the successful demonstration of a 150 J nanosecond pulsed cryogenic gas cooled, diode-pumped multi-slab Yb:YAG laser operating at 1 Hz. To the best of our knowledge, this is the highest energy ever recorded for a diode-pumped laser system.

    May. 21, 2020
  • Vol. 8 Issue 2 02000e20 (2020)
  • Yongguang Zhao, Li Wang, Weidong Chen, Jianlei Wang, Qingsong Song, Xiaodong Xu, Ying Liu, Deyuan Shen, Jun Xu, Xavier Mateos, Pavel Loiko, Zhengping Wang, Xinguang Xu, Uwe Griebner, and Valentin Petrov

    We report on a high-power Ho:YAG single-crystal fiber (SCF) laser inband pumped by a high-brightness Tm-fiber laser at 1908 nm. The Ho:YAG SCF grown by the micro-pulling-down technique exhibits a propagation loss of $0.05\pm 0.005~\text{cm}^{-1}$ at $2.09~\unicode[STIX]{x03BC}\text{m}$. A continuous-wave output power of 35.2 W is achieved with a slope efficiency of 42.7%, which is to the best of our knowledge the highest power ever reported from an SCF-based laser in the 2 $\unicode[STIX]{x03BC}\text{m}$ spectral range.

    Jun. 23, 2020
  • Vol. 8 Issue 2 02000e25 (2020)
  • P. Bradford, M. P. Read, M. Ehret, L. Antonelli, M. Khan, N. Booth, K. Glize, D. Carroll, R. J. Clarke, R. Heathcote, S. Ryazantsev, S. Pikuz, C. Spindloe, J. D. Moody, B. B. Pollock, V. T. Tikhonchuk, C. P. Ridgers, J. J. Santos, and N. C. Woolsey

    A developing application of laser-driven currents is the generation of magnetic fields of picosecond–nanosecond duration with magnitudes exceeding $B=10~\text{T}$. Single-loop and helical coil targets can direct laser-driven discharge currents along wires to generate spatially uniform, quasi-static magnetic fields on the millimetre scale. Here, we present proton deflectometry across two axes of a single-loop coil ranging from 1 to 2 mm in diameter. Comparison with proton tracking simulations shows that measured magnetic fields are the result of kiloampere currents in the coil and electric charges distributed around the coil target. Using this dual-axis platform for proton deflectometry, robust measurements can be made of the evolution of magnetic fields in a capacitor coil target.

    Apr. 22, 2020
  • Vol. 8 Issue 2 02000e11 (2020)
  • Yingjie Shen, Chuanpeng Qian, Xiaoming Duan, and Ruijun Lan

    We demonstrated a high-power long-wave infrared laser based on a polarization beam coupling technique. An average output power at $8.3~\unicode[STIX]{x03BC}\text{m}$ of 7.0 W was achieved at a maximum available pump power of 107.6 W, corresponding to an optical-to-optical conversion of 6.5%. The coupling efficiency of the polarization coupling system was calculated to be approximately 97.2%. With idler single resonance operation, a good beam quality factor of ${\sim}1.8$ combined with an output wavelength of $8.3~\unicode[STIX]{x03BC}\text{m}$ was obtained at the maximum output power.

    Apr. 21, 2020
  • Vol. 8 Issue 2 02000e12 (2020)
  • Victor Hariton, Celso Paiva Jo?o, Hugo Pires, Mario Galletti, and Gon?alo Figueira

    We address the power scaling issue in end-pumped laser rod amplifiers by studying, experimentally and numerically, the magnitude of thermal lensing in a high-energy diode-pumped Yb:YAG crystal. The spatio-temporal temperature profile of the gain medium and the focal length of the induced thermal lens are determined numerically. The influence of the repetition rate and pumping power on the temperature distribution is analyzed. Experimental measurements covered repetition rates between 1 and 10 Hz and up to 4 kW pumping power.

    Apr. 21, 2020
  • Vol. 8 Issue 2 02000e13 (2020)
  • Meng Wang, Yijian Huang, Zongpeng Song, Jincheng Wei, Jihong Pei, and Shuangchen Ruan

    We report on mode-locked thulium-doped fiber lasers with high-energy nanosecond pulses, relying on the transmission in a semiconductor saturable absorber (SESA) and a carbon nanotube (CNTs-PVA) film separately. A section of an SMF–MMF–SMF structure multimode interferometer with a transmission peak wavelength of ~2003 nm was used as a wavelength selector to fix the laser wavelength. When the SESA acted as a saturable absorber (SA), the mode-locked fiber laser had a maximum output power of ~461 mW with a pulse energy of ~0.14 μJ and a pulse duration of ~9.14 ns. In a CNT-film-based mode-locked fiber laser, stable mode-locked pulses with the maximum output power of ~46 mW, pulse energy of ~26.8 nJ and pulse duration of ~9.3 ns were obtained. To the best of our knowledge, our experiments demonstrated the first 2 μm region ‘real’ SA-based dissipative soliton resonance with the highest mode-locked pulse energy from a ‘real’ SA-based all-fiberized resonator.

    Apr. 30, 2020
  • Vol. 8 Issue 2 02000e14 (2020)
  • X. M. Zhu, R. Prasad, M. Swantusch, B. Aurand, A. A. Andreev, O. Willi, and M. Cerchez

    The process of high energy electron acceleration along the surface of grating targets (GTs) that were irradiated by a relativistic, high-contrast laser pulse at an intensity $I=2.5\times 10^{20}~\text{W}/\text{cm}^{2}$ was studied. Our experimental results demonstrate that for a GT with a periodicity twice the laser wavelength, the surface electron flux is more intense for a laser incidence angle that is larger compared to the resonance angle predicted by the linear model. An electron beam with a peak charge of ${\sim}2.7~\text{nC}/\text{sr}$, for electrons with energies ${>}1.5~\text{MeV}$, was measured. Numerical simulations carried out with parameters similar to the experimental conditions also show an enhanced electron flux at higher incidence angles depending on the preplasma scale length. A theoretical model that includes ponderomotive effects with more realistic initial preplasma conditions suggests that the laser-driven intensity and preformed plasma scale length are important for the acceleration process. The predictions closely match the experimental and computational results.

    Apr. 30, 2020
  • Vol. 8 Issue 2 02000e15 (2020)
  • J. M. Tian, H. B. Cai, W. S. Zhang, E. H. Zhang, B. Du, and S. P. Zhu

    Experimental and simulation data [Moreau et al., Plasma Phys. Control. Fusion 62, 014013 (2019); Kaymak et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 117, 035004 (2016)] indicate that self-generated magnetic fields play an important role in enhancing the flux and energy of relativistic electrons accelerated by ultra-intense laser pulse irradiation with nanostructured arrays. A fully relativistic analytical model for the generation of the magnetic field based on electron magneto-hydrodynamic description is presented here. The analytical model shows that this self-generated magnetic field originates in the nonparallel density gradient and fast electron current at the interfaces of a nanolayered target. A general formula for the self-generated magnetic field is found, which closely agrees with the simulation scaling over the relevant intensity range. The result is beneficial to the experimental designs for the interaction of the laser pulse with the nanostructured arrays to improve laser-to-electron energy coupling and the quality of forward hot electrons.

    May. 08, 2020
  • Vol. 8 Issue 2 02000e16 (2020)
  • Zhiwei Zhu, Yang Liu, Daping Luo, Chenglin Gu, Lian Zhou, Gehui Xie, Zejiang Deng, and Wenxue Li

    We report on a compact and robust self-referenced optical frequency comb with a tunable repetition rate, generated by an all-polarization-maintaining (PM) mode-locked Er-doped fiber laser. The spacing between comb teeth can be tuned above 300 kHz at a repetition rate of 101 MHz. The repetition rate and the carrier–envelope offset of the laser are stabilized separately, and the relative residual phase noises are determined to be $336~\unicode[STIX]{x03BC}\text{rad}$ and 713 mrad (1 Hz–1 MHz). The accurate frequency characteristics and the stable structure show great potential for the use of such a comb in applications of precision measurements.

    May. 09, 2020
  • Vol. 8 Issue 2 02000e17 (2020)
  • L. Martín, J. Benlliure, D. Cortina-Gil, J. Pe?as, and C. Ruiz

    We report the development of a stable high-average power X-ray source generated by the interaction of ultrashort laser pulses (35 fs, 1 mJ, 1 kHz) with a solid target in air. The achieved source stability, which is essential for the applications foreseen for these laser-driven plasma accelerators, is due to the combination of precise positioning of the target on focus and the development of a fast rotating target system able to ensure the refreshment of the material at every shot while minimizing positioning errors with respect to the focal spot. This vacuum-free laser-plasma X-ray source provides an average dose rate of 1.5 Sv/h at 30 cm and a repeatability better than 93% during more than 36 min of continuous operation per target.

    May. 09, 2020
  • Vol. 8 Issue 2 02000e18 (2020)
  • Fabrizio Bisesto, Mario Galletti, Maria Pia Anania, Gemma Costa, Massimo Ferrario, Riccardo Pompili, Arie Zigler, Fabrizio Consoli, Mattia Cipriani, Martina Salvadori, and Claudio Verona

    The interaction of ultra-intense high-power lasers with solid-state targets has been largely studied for the past 20 years as a future compact proton and ion source. Indeed, the huge potential established on the target surface by the escaping electrons provides accelerating gradients of TV/m. This process, called target normal sheath acceleration, involves a large number of phenomena and is very difficult to study because of the picosecond scale dynamics. At the SPARC_LAB Test Facility, the high-power laser FLAME is employed in experiments with solid targets, aiming to study possible correlations between ballistic fast electrons and accelerated protons. In detail, we have installed in the interaction chamber two different diagnostics, each one devoted to characterizing one beam. The first relies on electro-optic sampling, and it has been adopted to completely characterize the ultrafast electron components. On the other hand, a time-of-flight detector, based on chemical-vapour-deposited diamond, has allowed us to retrieve the proton energy spectrum. In this work, we report preliminary studies about simultaneous temporal resolved measurements of both the first forerunner escaping electrons and the accelerated protons for different laser parameters.

    Jun. 10, 2020
  • Vol. 8 Issue 2 02000e23 (2020)
  • J. Hornung, Y. Zobus, P. Boller, C. Brabetz, U. Eisenbarth, T. Kühl, Zs. Major, J. B. Ohland, M. Zepf, B. Zielbauer, and V. Bagnoud

    We present a study of laser-driven ion acceleration with micrometre and sub-micrometre thick targets, which focuses on the enhancement of the maximum proton energy and the total number of accelerated particles at the PHELIX facility. Using laser pulses with a nanosecond temporal contrast of up to $10^{-12}$ and an intensity of the order of $10^{20}~\text{W}/\text{cm}^{2}$, proton energies up to 93 MeV are achieved. Additionally, the conversion efficiency at $45^{\circ }$ incidence angle was increased when changing the laser polarization to p, enabling similar proton energies and particle numbers as in the case of normal incidence and s-polarization, but reducing the debris on the last focusing optic.

    Jun. 23, 2020
  • Vol. 8 Issue 2 02000e24 (2020)
  • Maria Alkhimova, Sergey Ryazantsev, Igor Skobelev, Alexey Boldarev, Jie Feng, Xin Lu, Li-Ming Chen, and Sergey Pikuz

    In this work, we optimized a clean, versatile, compact source of soft X-ray radiation $(E_{\text{x}\text{-}\text{ray}}\sim 3~\text{keV})$ with an yield per shot up to $7\times 10^{11}~\text{photons}/\text{shot}$ in a plasma generated by the interaction of high-contrast femtosecond laser pulses of relativistic intensity $(I_{\text{las}}\sim 10^{18}{-}10^{19}~\text{W}/\text{cm}^{2})$ with supersonic argon gas jets. Using high-resolution X-ray spectroscopy approaches, the dependence of main characteristics (temperature, density and ionization composition) and the emission efficiency of the X-ray source on laser pulse parameters and properties of the gas medium was studied. The optimal conditions, when the X-ray photon yield reached a maximum value, have been found when the argon plasma has an electron temperature of $T_{\text{e}}\sim 185~\text{eV}$, an electron density of $N_{\text{e}}\sim 7\times 10^{20}~\text{cm}^{-3}$ and an average charge of $Z\sim 14$. In such a plasma, a coefficient of conversion to soft X-ray radiation with energies $E_{\text{x}\text{-}\text{ray}}\sim 3.1\;(\pm 0.2)~\text{keV}$ reaches $8.57\times 10^{-5}$, and no processes leading to the acceleration of electrons to MeV energies occur. It was found that the efficiency of the X-ray emission of this plasma source is mainly determined by the focusing geometry. We confirmed experimentally that the angular distribution of the X-ray radiation is isotropic, and its intensity linearly depends on the energy of the laser pulse, which was varied in the range of 50–280 mJ. We also found that the yield of X-ray photons can be notably increased by, for example, choosing the optimal laser pulse duration and the inlet pressure of the gas jet.

    Jun. 29, 2020
  • Vol. 8 Issue 2 02000e26 (2020)
  • Haizhe Zhong, Bin Hu, Saisai Hu, Shengying Dai, Ying Li, and Dianyuan Fan

    Dual-chirped difference frequency generation (DFG) is an advantageous technique for generating the broadband mid-infrared (IR) idler wave, which is inaccessible by a population-inversion-based laser system. In principle, the generated idler wave may even suffer a spectrum broadening compared with the driving pulsed lasers if the pump and signal waves are oppositely chirped. However, broadband phase-matching is always the determining factor for the resulting efficiency and the bandwidth of the generated idler wave. In this study, specific to an oppositely dual-chirped DFG scheme, we derive the precondition to realize broadband frequency conversion, wherein a negative $(1/\unicode[STIX]{x1D710}_{p}-1/\unicode[STIX]{x1D710}_{i})/(1/\unicode[STIX]{x1D710}_{s}-1/\unicode[STIX]{x1D710}_{i})$, in terms of the correlation coefficient of the group velocity ($\unicode[STIX]{x1D70E}$), is necessary. However, most birefringence bulk crystals can only provide the required material dispersions in limited spectral regions. We show that the periodically poled lithium niobate crystal that satisfies an inactive Type-II (eo-o) quasi-phase-matching condition has a stable negative $\unicode[STIX]{x1D70E}$ and exerts the expected broadband gain characteristic across an ultra-broad idler spectral region $(1.7{-}4.0~\unicode[STIX]{x03BC}\text{m})$. Finally, we propose and numerically verify a promising DFG configuration to construct a tunable mid-IR spectrum broader based on the broadband phase-matched oppositely dual-chirped DFG scheme.

    Jun. 29, 2020
  • Vol. 8 Issue 2 02000e27 (2020)
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