Today thin-disk lasers routinely provide high pulse energies at picosecond pulse durations and kHz repetition rates. Systems with more than 200mJ per pulse are commercially available. After the introduction of the Dira 200-1, providing 200mJ at 1kHz, TRUMPF Scientific Lasers complements its thin-disk regenerative amplifier product portfolio by systems with a few hundred Watts of average output power. Still based on a single disk a flexible laser system with more than 500W was realized. Originally, it was designed for a 50kHz operation, delivering 10mJ pulses, but it also can be set-up for different repetition rates like 10kHz or 100kHz. TRUMPF Scientific Lasers regenerative amplifiers show an excellent long-term performance. The 500W system has a power stability of 0.5%.
Scientific applications often require higher average output powers, even with high pulse energies. Based on the extensive experience with highest average power continuous wave laser systems by TRUMPF a more powerful regenerative amplifier system is currently under development by TRUMPF Scientific Lasers. This laser uses two disk laser heads inside the same cavity to provide more than 1kW average output power. First results show an average power of more than 1kW at repetition rates of 10kHz and higher. A pulse duration below 1ps could be reached.
We report on the latest developments at TRUMPF Scientific Lasers in the field of ultra-short pulse lasers with highest output energies and powers. All systems are based on the mature and industrialized thin-disk technology of TRUMPF. Thin Yb:YAG disks provide a reliable and efficient solution for power and energy scaling to Joule- and kW-class picosecond laser systems. Due to its efficient one dimensional heat removal, the thin-disk exhibits low distortions and thermal lensing even when pumped under extremely high pump power densities of 10kW/cm². Currently TRUMPF Scientific Lasers develops regenerative amplifiers with highest average powers, optical parametric amplifiers and synchronization schemes. The first few-ps kHz multi-mJ thin-disk regenerative amplifier based on the TRUMPF thindisk technology was developed at the LMU Munich in 20081. Since the average power and energy have continuously been increased, reaching more than 300W (10kHz repetition rate) and 200mJ (1kHz repetition rate) at pulse durations below 2ps. First experiments have shown that the current thin-disk technology supports ultra-short pulse laser solutions >1kW of average power. Based on few-picosecond thin-disk regenerative amplifiers few-cycle optical parametric chirped pulse amplifiers (OPCPA) can be realized. These systems have proven to be the only method for scaling few-cycle pulses to the multi-mJ energy level. OPA based few-cycle systems will allow for many applications such as attosecond spectroscopy, THz spectroscopy and imaging, laser wake field acceleration, table-top few-fs accelerators and laser-driven coherent X-ray undulator sources. Furthermore, high-energy picosecond sources can directly be used for a variety of applications such as X-ray generation or in atmospheric research.