High-energy, kHz, picosecond hybrid Yb-doped chirped-pulse amplifier.

Opt Express 2015 Apr;23(8):10132-44

We report on a diode-pumped, hybrid Yb-doped chirped-pulse amplification (CPA) laser system with a compact pulse stretcher and compressor, consisting of Yb-doped fiber preamplifiers, a room-temperature Yb:KYW regenerative amplifier (RGA), and cryogenic Yb:YAG multi-pass amplifiers. The RGA provides a relatively broad amplification bandwidth and thereby a long pulse duration to mitigate B-integral in the CPA chain. The ~1030-nm laser pulses are amplified up to 70 mJ at 1-kHz repetition rate, currently limited by available optics apertures, and then compressed to ~6 ps with high efficiency. The near-diffraction-limited beam focusing quality is demonstrated with M(x)(2) = 1.1 and M(y)(2) = 1.2. The shot-to-shot energy fluctuation is as low as ~1% (rms), and the long-term energy drift and beam pointing stability for over 8 hours measurement are ~3.5% and <6 μrad (rms), respectively. To the best of our knowledge, this hybrid laser system produces the most energetic picosecond pulses at kHz repetition rates among rod-type laser amplifiers. With an optically synchronized Ti:sapphire seed laser, it provides a versatile platform optimized for pumping optical parametric chirped-pulse amplification systems as well as driving inverse Compton scattered X-rays.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.23.010132DOI Listing
April 2015
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