Laser Inertial Fusion Energy (IFE) has been attracting the interests of the researchers around the world, because of the promising to the future energy. The Yb:YAG was broadly used in the research field of high-peak power and large energy laser with repetition-rate for IFE because of its outstanding performance, including significant thermal and mechanical capacities, long upper energy level lifetime, high quantum efficiency and highly doping capacity. But it exhibits high saturation fluence at room temperature because of the small emission and absorption cross-section. And at the same time this gain material exhibits self-absorption of laser because of the thermal population at lower laser level at room temperature. Ant it appears to have been solved by means of the cryogenic temperature, but the total efficiency of the laser system will be decreased as the use of cryogenic temperature.
The amplified spontaneous emission (ASE) effect of the amplifier can be relaxed by means of edge-cladded absorption material. And the difficulties of edge cladding can be will solved as the emergence of ceramics. But at present the ceramics exhibits high scattering and many disfigurements, which limited the application in the high-power large-energy laser system. So the edge-cladding of Yb:YAG crystal will be a key issue for solution the ASE in amplifier.
In this paper, we will introduce a 10J water-cooled DPSSL system, based on Yb:YAG crystal at room temperature. In this system a new edge cladding method has been used, that the Yb:YAG crystal was edge cladded by Cr:YAG ceramics, which was used as the absorption material of ASE. The amplifier was an active mirror water-cooled room temperature amplifier. With the help of this edge cladding the ASE has been lowered, and about 5 times small signal gain has been obtained in a single pass amplification, which was much higher than the earlier of 2 times. And the wavefront aberrance of the laser beam was also reduced due to the thermal equilibrium between the edge cladding and the gain region. the amplifiers can be stably operated under 10Hz. Finally the output of the laser system was about 7.15J@10Hz and 10.8J@1-2Hz. The total optical-to-optical efficiency was about 8.3% for 1-2Hz (under the condition of 120kW/1ms pumping, 880mJ input and 10.8J output) and 5.6% for 10Hz.
Jian-Gang Zheng, Xiongwei Yan, Xinying Jiang, Zhenguo Wang, Mingzhong Li, Jun Zhang, Qihua Zhu, and Wanguo Zheng, "10J water-cooled DPSSL system based on Yb:YAG crystal edge-cladded by Cr:YAG ceramics (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10238, High-Power, High-Energy, and High-Intensity Laser Technology III, 1023807 (Presented at SPIE Optics + Optoelectronics: April 26, 2017; Published: 9 June 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2265010.5463398606001.
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