High power laser under construction for new experimental facility

Researchers are working at the “MEC Hatch” at SLAC’s LCLS Far Experiment Hall. The MEC optical laser system creates extreme temperatures and pressures in the material, and the LCLSX-ray laser beam captures the material’s response. (Image by Matt Beardsley / SLAC)

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s expertise in high-energy laser development is being leveraged to provide a key component of a major upgrade to the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory’s Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS). Over the next few years, LLNL’s Advanced Photon Technologies (APT) program will be the world’s most powerful petawatt (400 million watt) laser system for installation in LCLS’s upgraded Matter in Extreme Conditions (MEC) laboratory. Design and build one. Department of Energy Science Bureau-according to the Fusion Energy Science Program.

The new laser will be paired with the LCLS X-ray Free Electron Laser (XFEL) for high energy density (HED) physics, plasma physics, fusion energy, laser-plasma interactions, astrophysics, planetary science, and more. Deepen your understanding of physics. phenomenon.

Existing MEC facilities use optical lasers coupled to X-ray laser pulses from LCLS to characterize materials at extreme temperatures and pressures. MEC’s ​​experiments have created breakthrough science, including the first observations of “rain of diamonds” under conditions believed to be deep in giant icy planets such as Uranus and Neptune.

MEC-Upgrade (MEC-U) is partly due to the growing demand from the United States to reestablish world-class leadership with high-power laser technology. SLAC is partnering with LLNL and the University of Rochester’s Laser Energy Institute (LLE) to design and build MEC-U facilities in new underground caves. The LLNL Reproduction Laser (RRL), which can fire at up to 10Hz (10 pulses / sec), and the high-energy kilojoule laser developed by LLE will be delivered to two new experimental areas, including a target chamber and a dedicated suite. Diagnosis tailored to HED science.

LCLS, part of SLAC’s two-mile long linear particle accelerator in Menlo Park, California, can deliver 120 X-ray pulses per second, each in a few femtoseconds (1 / 400 millionth of a second). ) Will last. A simultaneous upgrade called LCLS-II delivers 1 million pulses per second with a nearly continuous X-ray beam, averaging 10,000 times brighter and doubling the previously achieved X-ray energy.

“Combining the latest and greatest ultrafast laser technology at the MEC-U facility with the LCLS beamline gives the United States a radically new high-throughput HED feature for discovery science and national security research. “NIF & Photon Science’s Vincent Tang said. Program director for high energy density and photon systems. “Rapidly gaining an understanding of plasmas and materials at extreme pressures and temperatures while improving the ability to operate HED technologies and systems at iteration rates and scales associated with critical future applications such as inertial confinement energy. I can.”

The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) is also interested in developing high-energy, long-pulse lasers that can work with LCLS to support NNSA’s core mission areas. Some of the goals are to improve scientists’ ability to predict the performance of next-generation materials in extreme environments, understand how material aging affects material properties, and study the microphysics of inertial confinement nuclei. Includes doing.

Tom Spinka, LLNL’s RRL Project Manager and Chief Scientist, is a simplified and more energetic version of the High Repeat Rate Advanced Petawatt Laser System (HAPLS) designed and developed by the APT program from 2014 to 2018. I said it would be. HAPLS, the world’s first all-diode-pumped petawatt laser, is now a key component of the European Union’s Extreme Light Infrastructure Beamlines facility in the Czech Republic.

“RRL builds on groundbreaking work done at HAPLS,” says Spinka. “It is a HAPLS diode excitation with a sophisticated architecture developed through the direct chirped pulse amplification technology used in the advanced radiographic capabilities of NIF’s flashlamp-excited neodymium-doped glass and LLNL’s laboratory-led R & D program. Combining glass pump laser technology. This architecture, originally called the Scaleable High Power Advanced Radiographic Function (SHARC), eliminates the lossy second (titanium-doped sapphire) stage of the HAPLS laser system and has the same peak. The rate that ultimately provides about 5 times the energy of HAPLS with power and repetition. “

LLNL’s RRL for MEC-U facilities will be developed in parallel with performance enhancements to the full design specifications of HAPLS (now known as L3-HAPLS) lasers at ELI-Beamlines. It also leverages additional advanced laser technology developed by APT, including the new high-energy Faraday rotator developed under a joint R & D agreement with Electro-Optics Technologies Inc.

Source High power laser under construction for new experimental facility

Back to top button