16 March 2016 Yb:YAG ceramic-based laser driver for Inertial Fusion Energy (IFE)
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Abstract
We report on a new class of laser amplifiers for inertial confinement fusion (ICF) drivers based on a Yb:YAG ceramic disk in an edge-pumped configuration and cooled by a high-velocity gas flow. The Yb lasant offers very high efficiency and low waste heat. The ceramic host material has a thermal conductivity nearly 15-times higher than the traditionally used glass and it is producible in sizes suitable for a typical 10- to 20-kJ driver beam line. The combination of high lasant efficiency, low waste heat, edge-pumping, and excellent thermal conductivity of the host, enable operation at 10 to 20 Hz at over 20% wall plug efficiency while being comparably smaller and less costly than recently considered face-pumped alternative drivers using Nd:glass, Yb:S-FAP, and cryogenic Yb:YAG. Scalability of the laser driver over a broad range of sizes is presented.
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John Vetrovec, Drew A. Copeland, Amardeep S. Litt, "Yb:YAG ceramic-based laser driver for Inertial Fusion Energy (IFE)", Proc. SPIE 9726, Solid State Lasers XXV: Technology and Devices, 972619 (16 March 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2220008; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2220008
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