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26 January 2005 Research on 2x1 plasma electrode electro-optical switch with large aperture
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Abstract
In conceptual design of the prototype for SG-III facility, a full aperture electro-optical switch was placed between the cavity mirror and the main amplifier to isolate the reflected beams. The beam on the cavity mirror is 240mm×240mm square. Pockells cells of conversional design with coaxial ring electrodes can not scale to such large square aperture. In the 1980s, a plasma electrode Pockels cell (PEPC) concept was invented at LLNL. It uses transparent plasma electrode formed through gas discharge as the electrodes to apply the voltage across switching crystal to rotate the polarization of a transmitted laser beam. And it can be scaled to large aperture with thin crystal. So the switch which would be used in SG-III is based on this technology. The technical integration line as a prototype of SG-III laser is actually a 4×2 beam bundle. And the full aperture optical switch is mechanically designed four apertures as a removable unit, and electrically two 2×1 PEPC putting together. So we built a 2×1 PEPC to develop the technology first. The 2×1 PEPC is a sandwich structure made of an insulating mid plane between a pair of plasma chambers. The frame of both plasma chambers are machining in duralumin. Each chamber is installed with a planar magnetic cathode and four segments spherical anodes made from stainless steel. The cathode and anode are insulated from the housing with a special shell made from plastic, and plasma is insulated from the housing by an 80-μm-thick anodic coating on the duralumin. The two plasma chambers are separated by a mid plane of glass frame with two square holes. The two holes are filled by two electro-optical crystals with a 240-mm square aperture. With the optimized operating pressure and the electrical parameters, a very good homogeneity and low resistivity plasma electrode is obtained. Finally we tested its switching performance to simulate the case that it will be used in the SG-III prototype facility. It works with a quarter wave delay voltage and the laser beam passes through PEPC twice. The average switching efficiency across the entire aperture is greater than 98.6%, the rising time of the switch is about 83ns, and the transmission of the switch is 86%.
© (2005) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Xiong Jun Zhang, Kui Xing Zheng, B. Feng, D. S. Wu, J. P. Lu, X. L. Tian, F. Jin, Zhan Sui, Xiaofeng Wei, and Xiaomin Zhang "Research on 2x1 plasma electrode electro-optical switch with large aperture", Proc. SPIE 5627, High-Power Lasers and Applications III, (26 January 2005); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.571992
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