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FP5

SHARP Report Summary

Project ID: HPRI-CT-2001-50037
Funded under: FP5-HUMAN POTENTIAL
Country: France

High energy cavity dumped oscillators

The development of high-energy seeding pulses from a Kerr-lens mode-locked oscillator is one of the techniques explored in the SHARP program in order to reduce the level of the Amplified Spontaneous Emission (ASE) at the output of the laser chain.

By seeding the preamplifier with energy two orders of magnitude higher than it is usually done, we will reduce the overall gain by the same amount and therefore decrease the level of ASE by at least two orders of magnitude. Conventional Kerr-lens mode-locked oscillators delivers very short pulses (10fs) at a repetition rate of 100MHz with an energy of few nJ.

The advantages of cavity-dumping Kerr-lens mode-locked oscillators is to keep the temporal properties of the pulse (short pulse duration and cleanliness on a high dynamic range) while being able to extract the intra-cavity energy which is largely higher than the one coming from the output coupler.

The output energy of cavity-dumped oscillators depends on the technique that is used to extract the pulse from the cavity. Usually acousto-optic modulators are used, but nowadays the available energy is limited to 30nJ. Our oscillator is based on electro-optic cavity dumping with a Pockels cell. That one is able to work with a beam size up to 4 mm which allows the inside cavity energy to be largely higher than with an acousto-optic device.

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