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Laser 4 Aton: 10 PW, 2 kJ

Laserový systém L4 Aton je určen ke generování extrémně vysokého a dosud nevídaného špičkového výkonu 10 PW (petawattů) při délce trvání pulzu asi 130 fs. Nekomprimovaná energie může dosáhnout hodnoty téměř 2 kJ s frekvencí výstřelů za min, což představuje významný pokrok v oblasti laserů v kJ třídě. Architektura je založena na přímé kompresi širokopásmového svazku zesíleného kombinací různých desek neodymového skla. Laser vyvinulo konsorcium firem National Energetics (USA) a EKSPLA (Litva). [Podrobné informace jsou k dispozici v anglickém jazyce.]

The L4 Aton system architecture

The L4 laser system can operate in two main modes:

  • All the energy can be used to generate a power of 10 PW in a single beam. By-pass of the compressor is possible in order to use the chirped nanosecond (ns) beam directly.
  • The main amplifier can deliver almost 2 kJ in a narrowband ns beam with variable temporal shaping seeded by a separate front end. At the same time, the broadband front end can seed the first main amplifier and thus provide a 200 J-class PW pulse.

The L4 laser chain is composed of a broadband ultrafast oscillator, picosecond OPCPA preamplifier, nanosecond OPCPA stages, and two main amplifier stages based on Nd:glass-gain media pumped by flashlamps. The resulting nanosecond pulses are compressed in a dielectric grating compressor.

L4 beam line design parameters (main beam)

Output pulse energy (main beam compressed) >1,800 J in single aperture
Pulse duration (CPA regime) <150 fs FWHM (adjustable to 100 ps)
Pulse duration (non-CPA regime) 0.5–5 ns (temporal shaping adjustable in 150 ps steps)
Repetition rate 1 shot per minute
Peak power 10 PW
Pump laser technology flashlamp-pumped Nd:glass amplifiers
Output laser pulse energy RMS stability better than 10% rms
Output laser beam RMS pointing stability <10 µrad
Laser control system Labview and EPICS
Output pulse external synchronization relative to the facility clock <20 ps to RF clock with any delay relative to facility clock
Beam format rectangular superGaussian
Beam size of compressed beam <550×550 mm

Delivery of the system

The delivery of the L4 Aton laser system was contracted with the United States-Lithuanian consortium of National Energetics and Ekspla in September 2014.
The main subcontractors are Schott and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

ELI Beamlines staff is in charge of delivering for the following subsystems:

  • Full diagnostics of the compressed 10 PW beam
  • Design of the vacuum vessel for the 10 PW compressor
  • Design and delivery of optomechanics for the 10 PW compressor
  • Laser timing platform
  • Contribution to the development of long pulse OPCPA amplifiers.

L4 ATON Compressor
Length: 18 m
Height 4,5 m
Width 3,6m
Weight 55 tons

Manufactured by Streicher, Czech Republic

References:
Bedřich Rus, bedrich.rus@eli-beams.eu

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