Volume: 7 Issue 1
20 Article(s)

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Special Issue on Focus on National Laboratory of High Power Laser and Physics, SIOM
Review of special issue on high power facility and technical development at the NLHPLP
Jianqiang Zhu
Achieving ignition of ICF (inertial confinement fusion) has been the great dream that scientists all over the world pursue. As a grand challenge, this aim requires energetic and high quality lasers. High power laser facilities, for this purpose, have therefore flourished over the past several decades. Meanwhile high power laser facilities, also essential for high-energy-density (HED) scientific research and astrophysics, drive rapid progress of material science, electronics, precision machinery and so on. Many countries have successfully established a succession of facilities to study ICF and HED physics, such as National Ignition Facility (NIF)[1] in the United States and the Laser Megajoule (LMJ) in France[2]. China, conducted such research activities early, as one of the few countries having the capability of developing high power facilities independently. As the major pioneer dedicated to high power laser technology and ICF research in China, the National Laboratory on High Power Laser and Physics (NLHPLP) and its precursor have established a succession of facilities since 1973. In 1986 NLHPLP was formally established at Shanghai Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics; this opened up a new era of laser fusion research in China. Since then the facilities at NLHPLP entered into ‘Shen Guang’ families. Since the SG-I facility dismantled in 1994, NLHPLP has successively constructed SG-II laser facility, SG-II 9th beam, SG-II upgrade (SG-II UP) facility, and SG-II 5PW facility. These operational facilities constitute a multifunctional experimental platform, which provide important experimental capabilities by combining different pulse widths of nanosecond, picosecond and femtosecond scales. SG-II facility, greatly promoting Chinese ICF research, has had a stable and excellent operation for approximately 20 years. A newly built SG-II UP facility, consisting of a single petawatt picosecond system with kJ-class output and eight-beam nanosecond capability with multi-pass amplifier configuration, has achieved the required outputs. This facility marks a major step of increasing capability of designing and constructing high power facilities. In addition, SG-II 5 PW facility is already operational for physical experiments. Construction of these facilities has driven the fabrication and processing of large optical components. Furthermore, many advanced technologies have been developed that ensured good performance of these systems. Apparently with operations spanning 30 years, NLHPLP is an important scientific research base on high power laser scientific research in China.
High Power Laser Science and Engineering
  • Publication Date: Feb. 22, 2019
  • Vol.7 Issue, 1 01000e12 (2019)
Special Issue on High Energy Density Physics and High Power Lasers
Quantum electrodynamics experiments with colliding petawatt laser pulses
I. C. E. Turcu, B. Shen, D. Neely, G. Sarri, K. A. Tanaka, P. McKenna, S. P. D. Mangles, T.-P. Yu, W. Luo, X.-L. Zhu, and Y. Yin
A new generation of high power laser facilities will provide laser pulses with extremely high powers of 10 petawatt (PW) and even 100 PW, capable of reaching intensities of $10^{23}~\text{W}/\text{cm}^{2}$ in the laser focus. These ultra-high intensities are nevertheless lower than the Schwinger intensity $I_{S}=2.3\times 10^{29}~\text{W}/\text{cm}^{2}$ at which the theory of quantum electrodynamics (QED) predicts that a large part of the energy of the laser photons will be transformed to hard Gamma-ray photons and even to matter, via electron–positron pair production. To enable the investigation of this physics at the intensities achievable with the next generation of high power laser facilities, an approach involving the interaction of two colliding PW laser pulses is being adopted. Theoretical simulations predict strong QED effects with colliding laser pulses of ${\geqslant}10~\text{PW}$ focused to intensities ${\geqslant}10^{22}~\text{W}/\text{cm}^{2}$.
High Power Laser Science and Engineering
  • Publication Date: Feb. 14, 2019
  • Vol.7 Issue, 1 01000e10 (2019)
Special Issue on High Energy Density Physics and High Power Lasers 2018
Performance demonstration of the PEnELOPE main amplifier HEPA I using broadband nanosecond pulses
D. Albach, M. Loeser, M. Siebold, and U. Schramm
High Power Laser Science and Engineering
  • Publication Date: Dec. 27, 2018
  • Vol.7 Issue, 1 010000e1 (2019)
Role of magnetic field evolution on filamentary structure formation in intense laser–foil interactions
M. King, N. M. H. Butler, R. Wilson, R. Capdessus, R. J. Gray, H. W. Powell, R. J. Dance, H. Padda, B. Gonzalez-Izquierdo, D. R. Rusby, N. P. Dover, G. S. Hicks, O. C. Ettlinger, C. Scullion, D. C. Carroll, Z. Najmudin, M. Borghesi, D. Neely, and P. McKenna
High Power Laser Science and Engineering
  • Publication Date: Mar. 13, 2019
  • Vol.7 Issue, 1 01000e14 (2019)
High-brightness all-fiber Raman lasers directly pumped by multimode laser diodes
S. A. Babin
High-brightness fiber laser sources usually utilize active rare-earth-doped fibers cladding-pumped by multimode laser diodes (LDs), but they operate in limited wavelength ranges. Singlemode-passive-fiber based Raman lasers are able to operate at almost any wavelength being pumped by high-power fiber lasers. One of the interesting possibilities is to directly pump graded-index (GRIN) multimode passive fibers by available high-power multimode LDs at 915–940 nm, thus achieving high-power Raman lasing in the wavelength range of 950–1000 nm, which is problematic for rare-earth-doped fiber lasers. Here we review the latest results on the development of all-fiber high-brightness LD-pumped sources based on GRIN fiber with in-fiber Bragg gratings (FBGs). The mode-selection properties of FBGs inscribed by fs pulses supported by the Raman clean-up effect result in efficient conversion of multimode pump into a high-quality output beam at 9xx nm. GRIN fibers with core diameters 62.5, 85 and $100~\unicode[STIX]{x03BC}\text{m}$ are compared. Further scaling capabilities and potential applications of such sources are discussed.
High Power Laser Science and Engineering
  • Publication Date: Mar. 13, 2019
  • Vol.7 Issue, 1 01000e15 (2019)
Polarized proton beams from laser-induced plasmas
Anna Hützen, Johannes Thomas, Jürgen Böker, Ralf Engels, Ralf Gebel, Andreas Lehrach, Alexander Pukhov, T. Peter Rakitzis, Dimitris Sofikitis, and Markus Büscher
We report on the concept of an innovative source to produce polarized proton/deuteron beams of a kinetic energy up to several GeV from a laser-driven plasma accelerator. Spin effects have been implemented into the particle-in-cell (PIC) simulation code VLPL (Virtual Laser Plasma Lab) to make theoretical predictions about the behavior of proton spins in laser-induced plasmas. Simulations of spin-polarized targets show that the polarization is conserved during the acceleration process. For the experimental realization, a polarized HCl gas-jet target is under construction using the fundamental wavelength of a Nd:YAG laser system to align the HCl bonds and simultaneously circularly polarized light of the fifth harmonic to photo-dissociate, yielding nuclear polarized H atoms. Subsequently, their degree of polarization is measured with a Lamb-shift polarimeter. The final experiments, aiming at the first observation of a polarized particle beam from laser-generated plasmas, will be carried out at the 10 PW laser system SULF at SIOM, Shanghai.
High Power Laser Science and Engineering
  • Publication Date: Mar. 14, 2019
  • Vol.7 Issue, 1 01000e16 (2019)
Reflection of intense laser light from microstructured targets as a potential diagnostic of laser focus and plasma temperature
J. Jarrett, M. King, R. J. Gray, N. Neumann, L. Döhl, C. D. Baird, T. Ebert, M. Hesse, A. Tebartz, D. R. Rusby, N. C. Woolsey, D. Neely, M. Roth, and P. McKenna
The spatial-intensity profile of light reflected during the interaction of an intense laser pulse with a microstructured target is investigated experimentally and the potential to apply this as a diagnostic of the interaction physics is explored numerically. Diffraction and speckle patterns are measured in the specularly reflected light in the cases of targets with regular groove and needle-like structures, respectively, highlighting the potential to use this as a diagnostic of the evolving plasma surface. It is shown, via ray-tracing and numerical modelling, that for a laser focal spot diameter smaller than the periodicity of the target structure, the reflected light patterns can potentially be used to diagnose the degree of plasma expansion, and by extension the local plasma temperature, at the focus of the intense laser light. The reflected patterns could also be used to diagnose the size of the laser focal spot during a high-intensity interaction when using a regular structure with known spacing.
High Power Laser Science and Engineering
  • Publication Date: Dec. 27, 2018
  • Vol.7 Issue, 1 010000e2 (2019)
Dynamic stabilization of plasma instability
S. Kawata, T. Karino, and Y. J. Gu
The paper presents a review of dynamic stabilization mechanisms for plasma instabilities. One of the dynamic stabilization mechanisms for plasma instability was proposed in the paper [Kawata, Phys. Plasmas 19, 024503 (2012)], based on a perturbation phase control. In general, instabilities emerge from the perturbations. Normally the perturbation phase is unknown, and so the instability growth rate is discussed. However, if the perturbation phase is known, the instability growth can be controlled by a superimposition of perturbations imposed actively. Based on this mechanism we present the application results of the dynamic stabilization mechanism to the Rayleigh–Taylor instability (RTI) and to the filamentation instability as typical examples in this paper. On the other hand, in the paper [Boris, Comments Plasma Phys. Control. Fusion 3, 1 (1977)] another mechanism was proposed to stabilize RTI, and was realized by the pulse train or the laser intensity modulation in laser inertial fusion [Betti et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 71, 3131 (1993)]. In this latter mechanism, an oscillating strong force is applied to modify the basic equation, and consequently the new stabilization window is created. Originally the latter was proposed by Kapitza. We review the two stabilization mechanisms, and present the application results of the former dynamic stabilization mechanism.
High Power Laser Science and Engineering
  • Publication Date: Dec. 27, 2018
  • Vol.7 Issue, 1 010000e3 (2019)
Technology development for ultraintense all-OPCPA systems | Editors' Pick
J. Bromage, S.-W. Bahk, I. A. Begishev, C. Dorrer, M. J. Guardalben, B. N. Hoffman, J. B. Oliver, R. G. Roides, E. M. Schiesser, M. J. Shoup, M. Spilatro, B. Webb, D. Weiner, and J. D. Zuegel
Optical parametric chirped-pulse amplification (OPCPA) [Dubietis et al., Opt. Commun. 88, 437 (1992)] implemented by multikilojoule Nd:glass pump lasers is a promising approach to produce ultraintense pulses (${>}10^{23}~\text{W}/\text{cm}^{2}$). Technologies are being developed to upgrade the OMEGA EP Laser System with the goal to pump an optical parametric amplifier line (EP OPAL) with two of the OMEGA EP beamlines. The resulting ultraintense pulses (1.5 kJ, 20 fs, $10^{24}~\text{W}/\text{cm}^{2}$) would be used jointly with picosecond and nanosecond pulses produced by the other two beamlines. A midscale OPAL pumped by the Multi-Terawatt (MTW) laser is being constructed to produce 7.5-J, 15-fs pulses and demonstrate scalable technologies suitable for the upgrade. MTW OPAL will share a target area with the MTW laser (50 J, 1 to 100 ps), enabling several joint-shot configurations. We report on the status of the MTW OPAL system, and the technology development required for this class of all-OPCPA laser system for ultraintense pulses.
High Power Laser Science and Engineering
  • Publication Date: Feb. 08, 2019
  • Vol.7 Issue, 1 010000e4 (2019)
Study of backward terahertz radiation from intense picosecond laser–solid interactions using a multichannel calorimeter system | On the Cover
H. Liu, G.-Q. Liao, Y.-H. Zhang, B.-J. Zhu, Z. Zhang, Y.-T. Li, G. G. Scott, D. Rusby, C. Armstrong, E. Zemaityte, P. Bradford, N. Woolsey, P. Huggard, P. McKenna, and D. Neely
A multichannel calorimeter system is designed and constructed which is capable of delivering single-shot and broad-band spectral measurement of terahertz (THz) radiation generated in intense laser&ndash;plasma interactions. The generation mechanism of backward THz radiation (BTR) is studied by using the multichannel calorimeter system in an intense picosecond laser&ndash;solid interaction experiment. The dependence of the BTR energy and spectrum on laser energy, target thickness and pre-plasma scale length is obtained. These results indicate that coherent transition radiation is responsible for the low-frequency component (${<}$1 THz) of BTR. It is also observed that a large-scale pre-plasma primarily enhances the high-frequency component (${>}$3 THz) of BTR.
High Power Laser Science and Engineering
  • Publication Date: Jan. 22, 2019
  • Vol.7 Issue, 1 010000e6 (2019)
High-power, Joule-class, temporally shaped multi-pass ring laser amplifier with two Nd:glass laser heads
Jiangtao Guo, Jiangfeng Wang, Hui Wei, Wenfa Huang, Tingrui Huang, Gang Xia, Wei Fan, and Zunqi Lin
A high-power, Joule-class, nanosecond temporally shaped multi-pass ring laser amplifier system with two neodymium-doped phosphate glass (Nd:glass) laser heads is demonstrated. The laser amplifier system consists of three parts: an all-fiber structure seeder, a diode-pumped Nd:glass regenerative amplifier and a multi-pass ring amplifier, where the thermally induced depolarization of two laser heads is studied experimentally and theoretically. Following the injection of a square pulse with the pulse energy of 0.9 mJ and pulse width of 6 ns, a 0.969-J high-energy laser pulse at 1 Hz was generated, which had the ability to change the waveform arbitrarily, based on the all-fiber structure front end. The experimental results show that the proposed laser system is promising to be adopted in the preamplifier of high-power laser facilities.
High Power Laser Science and Engineering
  • Publication Date: Feb. 07, 2019
  • Vol.7 Issue, 1 010000e8 (2019)
High damage threshold liquid crystal binary mask for laser beam shaping
Gang Xia, Wei Fan, Dajie Huang, He Cheng, Jiangtao Guo, and Xiaoqin Wang
In order to improve the damage threshold and enlarge the aperture of a laser beam shaper, photolithographic patterning technology is adopted to design a new type of liquid crystal binary mask. The inherent conductive metal layer of commercial liquid crystal electro-optical spatial light modulators is replaced by azobenzene-based photoalignment layers patterned by noncontact photolithography. Using the azobenzene-based photoalignment layer, a liquid crystal binary mask for beam shaping is fabricated. In addition, the shaping ability, damage threshold, write/erase flexibility and stability of the liquid crystal binary mask are tested. Using a 1 Hz near-IR (1064 nm) laser, the multiple-shot nanosecond damage threshold of the liquid crystal mask is measured to be higher than $15~\text{J}/\text{cm}^{2}$. The damage threshold of the azobenzene-based photoalignment layer is higher than $50~\text{J}/\text{cm}^{2}$ under the same testing conditions.
High Power Laser Science and Engineering
  • Publication Date: Feb. 11, 2019
  • Vol.7 Issue, 1 010000e9 (2019)
Special Issue on Laboratory Astrophysics
Maser radiation from collisionless shocks: application to astrophysical jets
D. C. Speirs, K. Ronald, A. D. R. Phelps, M. E. Koepke, R. A. Cairns, A. Rigby, F. Cruz, R. M. G. M. Trines, R. Bamford, B. J. Kellett, B. Albertazzi, J. E. Cross, F. Fraschetti, P. Graham, P. M. Kozlowski, Y. Kuramitsu, F. Miniati, T. Morita, M. Oliver, B. Reville, Y. Sakawa, S. Sarkar, C. Spindloe, M. Koenig, L. O. Silva, D. Q. Lamb, P. Tzeferacos, S. Lebedev, G. Gregori, and R. Bingham
This paper describes a model of electron energization and cyclotron-maser emission applicable to astrophysical magnetized collisionless shocks. It is motivated by the work of Begelman, Ergun and Rees [Astrophys. J. 625, 51 (2005)] who argued that the cyclotron-maser instability occurs in localized magnetized collisionless shocks such as those expected in blazar jets. We report on recent research carried out to investigate electron acceleration at collisionless shocks and maser radiation associated with the accelerated electrons. We describe how electrons accelerated by lower-hybrid waves at collisionless shocks generate cyclotron-maser radiation when the accelerated electrons move into regions of stronger magnetic fields. The electrons are accelerated along the magnetic field and magnetically compressed leading to the formation of an electron velocity distribution having a horseshoe shape due to conservation of the electron magnetic moment. Under certain conditions the horseshoe electron velocity distribution function is unstable to the cyclotron-maser instability [Bingham and Cairns, Phys. Plasmas 7, 3089 (2000); Melrose, Rev. Mod. Plasma Phys. 1, 5 (2017)].
High Power Laser Science and Engineering
  • Publication Date: Mar. 14, 2019
  • Vol.7 Issue, 1 01000e17 (2019)
Research Articles
Dual-wavelength bidirectional pumped high-power Raman fiber laser
Zehui Wang, Qirong Xiao, Yusheng Huang, Jiading Tian, Dan Li, Ping Yan, and Mali Gong
In this paper, we reported both the experimental demonstration and theoretical analysis of a Raman fiber laser based on a master oscillator–power amplifier configuration. The Raman fiber laser adopted the dual-wavelength bidirectional pumping configuration, utilizing 976 nm laser diodes and 1018 nm fiber lasers as the pump sources. A 60-m-long $25/400~\unicode[STIX]{x03BC}\text{m}$ ytterbium-doped fiber was used to convert the power from 1070 to 1124 nm, realizing a maximum power output of 3.7 kW with a 3 dB spectral width of 6.8 nm. Moreover, we developed a multi-frequency model taking into consideration the Raman gain spectrum and amplified spontaneous emission. The calculated spectral broadening of both the forward and backward laser was in good agreement with the experimental results. Finally, a 1.5 kW, 1183 nm second-order Raman fiber laser was further experimentally demonstrated by the addition of a 70-m-long germanium-doped passive fiber.
High Power Laser Science and Engineering
  • Publication Date: Mar. 26, 2019
  • Vol.7 Issue, 1 010000e5 (2019)
Cumulative material damage from train of ultrafast infrared laser pulses
A. Hanuka, K. P. Wootton, Z. Wu, K. Soong, I. V. Makasyuk, R. J. England, and L. Schächter
We developed a systematic experimental method to demonstrate that damage threshold fluence (DTF) for fused silica changes with the number of femtosecond laser (800 nm, $65\pm 5~\text{fs}$, 10 Hz and 600 Hz) pulses. Based on the experimental data, we were able to develop a model which indicates that the change in DTF varies with the number of shots logarithmically up to a critical value. Above this value, DTF approaches an asymptotic value. Both DTF for a single shot and the asymptotic value as well as the critical value where this happens, are extrinsic parameters dependent on the configuration (repetition rate, pressure and geometry near or at the surface). These measurements indicate that the power of this dependence is an intrinsic parameter independent of the configuration.
High Power Laser Science and Engineering
  • Publication Date: Mar. 26, 2019
  • Vol.7 Issue, 1 010000e7 (2019)
High efficiency second harmonic generation of nanojoule-level femtosecond pulses in the visible based on BiBO
Mario Galletti, Hugo Pires, Victor Hariton, Celso Paiva João, Swen Künzel, Marco Galimberti, and Gonçalo Figueira
We demonstrate high efficiency second harmonic generation (SHG) of near infrared femtosecond pulses using a $\text{BiB}_{3}\text{O}_{6}$ crystal in a single-pass tight focusing geometry setup. A frequency doubling efficiency of $63\%$ is achieved, which is, to the best of our knowledge, the highest value ever reported in the femtosecond regime for such low energy (nJ-level) pumping pulses. Theoretical analyses of the pumping scheme focusing waist and the SHG efficiency are performed, by numerically solving the three wave mixing coupled equations in the plane-wave scenario and by running simulations with a commercial full 3D code. Simulations show a good agreement with the experimental data regarding both the efficiency and the pulse spectral profile. The simulated SHG pulse temporal profile presents the characteristic features of the group velocity mismatch broadening in a ‘thick’ crystal.
High Power Laser Science and Engineering
  • Publication Date: Feb. 25, 2019
  • Vol.7 Issue, 1 01000e11 (2019)
Accurate reconstruction of electric field of ultrashort laser pulse with complete two-step phase-shifting
Yi Cai, Zhenkuan Chen, Shuiqin Zheng, Qinggang Lin, Xuanke Zeng, Ying Li, Jingzhen Li, and Shixiang Xu
This paper presents a complete two-step phase-shifting (TSPS) spectral phase interferometry for direct electric-field reconstruction (SPIDER) to improve the reconstruction of ultrafast optical fields. Here, complete TSPS acts as a balanced detection that can not only remove the effect of the dc term of the interferogram, but also reduce measurement noises, and thereby improve the capability of SPIDER to measure the pulses with narrow spectra or complex spectral structures. Some prisms are chosen to replace some environment-sensitive optical components, especially reflective optics to improve operating stability and improve signal-to-noise ratio further. Our experiments show that the available shear can be decreased to 1.5% of the spectral width, which is only about $1/3$ compared with traditional SPIDER.
High Power Laser Science and Engineering
  • Publication Date: Mar. 26, 2019
  • Vol.7 Issue, 1 01000e13 (2019)
Mitigation of stimulated Raman scattering in kilowatt-level diode-pumped fiber amplifiers with chirped and tilted fiber Bragg gratings
Meng Wang, Le Liu, Zefeng Wang, Xiaoming Xi, and Xiaojun Xu
The average power of diode-pumped fiber lasers has been developed deeply into the kW regime in the past years. However, stimulated Raman scattering (SRS) is still a major factor limiting the further power scaling. Here, we have demonstrated the mitigation of SRS in kilowatt-level diode-pumped fiber amplifiers using a chirped and tilted fiber Bragg grating (CTFBG) for the first time. The CTFBG is designed and inscribed in large-mode-area (LMA) fibers, matching with the operating wavelength of the fiber amplifier. With the CTFBG inserted between the seed laser and the amplifier stage, an SRS suppression ratio of ${\sim}10~\text{dB}$ is achieved in spectrum at the maximum output laser power of 2.35 kW, and there is no reduction in laser slope efficiency and degradation in beam quality. This work proves the feasibility and practicability of CTFBGs for SRS suppression in high-power fiber lasers, which is very useful for the further power scaling.
High Power Laser Science and Engineering
  • Publication Date: Mar. 26, 2019
  • Vol.7 Issue, 1 01000e18 (2019)
Absolute instability modes due to rescattering of stimulated Raman scattering in a large nonuniform plasma
Yao Zhao, Zhengming Sheng, Suming Weng, Shengzhe Ji, and Jianqiang Zhu
Absolute instability modes due to secondary scattering of stimulated Raman scattering (SRS) in a large nonuniform plasma are studied theoretically and numerically. The backscattered light of convective SRS can be considered as a pump light with a finite bandwidth. The different frequency components of the backscattered light can be coupled to develop absolute SRS instability near their quarter-critical densities via rescattering process. The absolute SRS mode develops a Langmuir wave with a high phase velocity of about $c/\sqrt{3}$ with $c$ the light speed in vacuum. Given that most electrons are at low velocities in the linear stage, the absolute SRS mode grows with very weak Landau damping. When the interaction evolves into the nonlinear regime, the Langmuir wave can heat abundant electrons up to a few hundred keV via the SRS rescattering. Our theoretical model is validated by particle-in-cell simulations. The absolute instabilities may play a considerable role in the experiments of inertial confinement fusion.
High Power Laser Science and Engineering
  • Publication Date: Apr. 03, 2019
  • Vol.7 Issue, 1 01000e20 (2019)