The limited aperture and damage threshold of the compressor gratings remains one of the bottlenecks in reaching higher peak powers for the current state-of-the-art laser systems. Object-image-grating self-tiling method provides a way how to double the effective aperture of compressor gratings by phasing them with perpendicularly positioned mirrors. This method is planned to be used in the main compressor for the L4 beamline in ELI Beamlines. A subaperture version of the main compressor was designed to test the feasibility of the objectimage- grating self-tiling method and to measure the temporal profile of the pulse throughout the amplification stages during the operation. The subaperture compressor was successfully implemented and temporal profile of the amplified pulse close to its transform limit was retrieved. The grating-mirror alignment was secured through the online measurement using an in-house developed Fizeau interferometer.
We report on the status of the re-commissioning of a high energy OPCPA laser system with programmable spectrum that serves as a frontend for a 10 PW laser at ELI-Beamlines. The OPCPA chain was developed by a consortium of National Energetics and Ekspla along with scientists of ELI-Beamlines.1 The laser system, consisting of three picosecond OPCPA stages, pulse cleaner, Offner stretcher, and 5 nanosecond OPCPA stages pumped by Nd:YAG lasers with programmable pulse shape (NL944, Ekspla), allows for precise spectral shaping while achieving high nonlinear conversion efficiency. Employing a subsequent Nd:glass power amplifiers (PA), the system was demonstrated to yield>1 kJ of energy, while maintaining broad spectrum of > 13 nm (FWHM). After recommissioning the OPCPA frontend in Dolní Břežany, an output energy of 4.3 J, flat beam-profile and good far-field quality has been demonstrated. The spectral shape has been optimized to support > 15 nm bandwidth and >1.5 kJ, consistent with 10 PW operation of the fully integrated laser system after compression.
Overview of progress in construction and testing of the laser systems of ELI-Beamlines, accomplished since 2015, is presented. Good progress has been achieved in construction of all four lasers based largely on the technology of diode-pumped solid state lasers (DPSSL). The first part of the L1 laser, designed to provide 200 mJ <15 fs pulses at 1 kHz repetition rate, is up and running. The L2 is a development line employing a 10 J / 10 Hz cryogenic gas-cooled pump laser which has recently been equipped with an advanced cryogenic engine. Operation of the L3-HAPLS system, using a gas-cooled DPSSL pump laser and a Ti:sapphire broadband amplifier, was recently demonstrated at 16 J / 28 fs, at 3.33 Hz rep rate. Finally, the 5 Hz OPCPA front end of the L4 kJ laser is up running and amplification in the Nd:glass large-aperture power amplifiers was demonstrated.