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Instruments, Volume 3, Issue 3 (September 2019)

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Open AccessArticle
Novel High-Power, High Repetition Rate Laser Diode Pump Modules Suitable for High-Energy Class Laser Facilities
Instruments 2019, 3(3), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/instruments3030034
Received: 29 May 2019 / Revised: 21 June 2019 / Accepted: 24 June 2019 / Published: 4 July 2019
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Abstract
The latest generation of high-energy-class pulsed laser facilities, under construction or planned, such as EuPRAXIA, require reliable pump sources with high power (many kW), brightness (>1 MW/cm2/sr) and electro-optical conversion efficiency (>50%). These new facilities will be operated at high repetition [...] Read more.
The latest generation of high-energy-class pulsed laser facilities, under construction or planned, such as EuPRAXIA, require reliable pump sources with high power (many kW), brightness (>1 MW/cm2/sr) and electro-optical conversion efficiency (>50%). These new facilities will be operated at high repetition rates (around 100 Hz) and only diode lasers are capable of delivering the necessary performance. Commercial (quasi-continuous wave, QCW) diode laser pulse-pump sources are, however, constructed as low-cost passively cooled stacked arrays that are limited either in brightness, efficiency or repetition rate. Commercial continuous wave diode laser pumps constructed using microchannel coolers (as used in high-value industrial machine tools) can fulfil all requirements, but are typically not preferred, due to their cost and complexity and the challenges of preventing cooler degradation. A custom solution is shown here to fill this gap, using advanced diode lasers in a novel passive side-cooling geometry to realize 100 … 200 Hz pump modules (10%–20% duty cycle) that emit peak power of 6 kW at wavelength = 940 nm. The latest performance of these modules is summarized and compared to literature. We show that a brightness >1 MW/cm2/sr can be efficiently delivered across a wide range of laser pulse conditions with 10% duty cycle (pulse width: 100 µs … 100 ms … cw, repetition rate up to 1 kHz). Furthermore, we describe how these pumps have been used to construct and reliably operate (>109 pulses without degradation) in high-energy-class regenerative and ring amplifiers at the Max-Born-Institut für Nichtlineare Optik und Kurzzeitspektroskopie (MBI). We also show first results on 100 Hz pumping of cryogenically cooled solid-state Yb:YAG slab amplifiers, as anticipated for use in the EuPRAXIA laser, and note that peak temperature is disproportionately increased, indicating that improved cooling and more detailed studies are needed. Full article
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Instruments EISSN 2410-390X Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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