A high gain cryogenic Yb:YAG ceramics laser amplifier for a high energy laser amplification system has been developed. The laser system consists of a fiber oscillator and two stage LD pumped cryogenic Yb:YAG ceramic amplifiers. The preamplifier stage has a 5-pass laser amplifier head and the main amplifier stage has a 2-pass laser amplifier head, respectively. The preamplifier obtained an average stored energy density of 0.836 J/cc and small-signal gain (SSG) of 60 with 33 J of stored energy. Then about 1 μJ of input energy from the oscillator was amplified to 3.6 J. The main amplifier head had four pumping LD modules which irradiated the Yb:YAG ceramics directly. This original angular pumping scheme ideally increases irradiation intensity and homogenizes irradiation pattern on the Yb:YAG ceramics due to superposition effect of all of the LD modules. A maximum peak power of over 100 kW was generated by one LD module. When the output energy of the LD modules was 450 J, a 20 of SSG at single pass was obtained. Stored energy density was evaluated to 0.429 J/cc when 148 J energy was stored in 346 cc of Yb:YAG ceramics. As a result, a 55-J output energy with 10 ns pulse duration was demonstrated at a pumping energy of 450 J. The optical-tooptical conversion efficiency which includes transmissivity of the LD modules was 12 %. The extraction efficiency was estimated to 37%.
T. Sekine, Y. Takeuchi, T. Kurita, Y. Hatano, Y. Muramatsu, Y. Mizuta, Y. Kabeya, Y. Tamaoki, and Y. Kato, "Development of cryogenic Yb:YAG ceramics amplifier for over 100 J DPSSL," Proc. SPIE 10082, Solid State Lasers XXVI: Technology and Devices, 100820U (Presented at SPIE LASE: January 31, 2017; Published: 17 February 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2254027.
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