A frequency tripled, Nd:Glass laser has been constructed and installed at the Dynamic Compression Sector located at the Advanced Photon Source. This 100-J laser will be used to drive shocks in condensed matter which will then be interrogated by the facility x-ray beam. The laser is designed for reliable operation, utilizing proven designs for all major subsystems. A fiber front-end provides arbitrarily shaped pulses to the amplifier chain. A diode-pumped Nd:glass regenerative amplifier is followed by a four-pass, flashlamp- pumped rod amplifier. The regenerative amplifier produces up to 20 mJ with better than 1% RMS stability. The passively multiplexed four-pass amplifier produces up to 2 J. The final amplifier uses a 15-cm Nd:glass disk amplifier in a six-pass configuration. Over 200 J of infrared energy is produced by the disk amplifier. A KDP Type-II/Type-II frequency tripler configuration, utilizing a dual tripler, converts the 1053-nm laser output to a wavelength of 351 nm and the ultraviolet beam is image relayed to the target chamber. Output energy stability is better than 3%. Smoothing by Spectral Dispersion and polarization smoothing have been optimized to produce a highly uniform focal spot. A distributed phase plate and aspheric lens produce a farfield spot with a measured uniformity of 8.2% RMS. Custom control software collects all data and provides the operator an intuitive interface to operate and maintain the laser.
A 100-J, 351-nm laser has been developed for the Dynamic Compression Sector located at the Advanced Photon Source. This laser will drive shocks in solid-state materials which will be probed by picosecond x-ray pulses available from the synchrotron source. The laser utilizes a state-of-the-art fiber front end providing pulse lengths up to 20 ns with pulse shapes tailored to optimize shock trajectories. A diode-pumped Nd:glass regenerative amplifier is followed by a four-pass, flash-lamp-pumped rod amplifier. The regenerative amplifier is designed to produce up to 20 mJ with high stability. The final amplifier uses a six-pass, 15-cm, Nd:glass disk amplifier based on an OMEGA laser design. A KDP Type-II/Type-II frequency tripler configuration converts the 1053-nm laser output to a wavelength of 351 nm and the ultraviolet beam is image relayed to the target chamber. Smoothing by Spectral Dispersion and polarization smoothing have been optimized to produce uniform shocks in the materials to be tested. Custom control software collects all diagnostic information and provides a central location for all aspects of laser operation.
A diode-pumped Nd:YLF laser system that produces nanosecond pulses at fundamental (1053-nm), second (527-nm),
and third (351-nm) harmonic wavelengths with the energies of hundreds of millijoules depending on pulse width/shape and wavelength has been demonstrated. These pulses can be arbitrarily shaped in the 1- to 10-ns temporal range. Excellent energy and Gaussian beam far-field pointing stability have been demonstrated. Extensive temporal, energy, and beam profile output diagnostics are provided.
A one-dimensional smoothing by spectral dispersion (SSD) demonstration system for smoothing focal-spot nonuniformities using multiple modulation frequencies (multi-FM SSD) was commissioned on one long-pulse beamline of OMEGA EP—the first use of such a system in a high-energy laser. System models of frequency modulation-to-amplitude modulation (FM-to-AM) conversion in the OMEGA EP beamline and final optics were used to develop an
AM budget. The AM budget in turn provided a UV power limit of 0.85 TW, based on accumulation of <i>B</i>-integral in the final optics. The front end of the demonstration system utilized a National Ignition Facility preamplifier module (PAM) with a custom SSD grating inserted into the PAM’s multipass amplifier section. The dispersion of the SSD grating was selected to cleanly propagate the dispersed SSD bandwidth through various pinholes in the system while maintaining sufficient focal-spot smoothing performance. A commissioning plan was executed that systematically introduced the new features of the demonstration system into OMEGA EP. Ultimately, the OMEGA EP beamline was ramped to the UV power limit with various pulse shapes. The front-end system was designed to provide flexibility in pulse shaping. Various combinations of pickets and nanosecond-scale drive pulses were demonstrated, with multi-FM SSD selectively applied to portions of the pulse. Analysis of the dispersion measured by the far-field diagnostics at the outputs of the infrared beamline and the frequency-conversion crystals indicated that the SSD modulation spectrum was maintained through both the beamline and the frequency-conversion process. At the completion of the plan, a series of equivalent-target-plane measurements with distributed phase plates installed were conducted that confirmed the expected timeintegrated smoothing of the focal spot.