New Concept for Next-Generation Ultra-Intense Lasers

Exawatt-Class Laser Concept

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Concept for Exawatt-class lasers. Credit: Osaka University

Researchers from Osaka University propose a principle for next-generation ultra-intense lasers, potentially increasing the existing record from 10 Petawatts to 500 Petawatts.

Ultra-extreme lasers with ultra-short pulses and ultra-high energies are effective tools for checking out unknowns in physics, cosmology, product science, etc. With the assistance of the well-known innovation “Chirped Pulse Amplification (CPA)” (2018 Nobel Prize in Physics), the existing record has actually reached 10 Petawatts (or 10^16 Watts). In a research study just recently released in Scientific Reports, scientists from Osaka University proposed a principle for next-generation ultra-intense lasers with a simulated peak power as much as the Exawatt class (1 Exawatt equates to 1000 Petawatts).

The laser, which was developed by Dr. T. H. Maiman in 1960, has one crucial attribute of high strength (or high peak power for pulse lasers): traditionally, laser peak power has actually experienced two-stage advancement. Just after the birth of the laser, Q-switching and mode-locking innovations increased laser peak power to Kilowatt (10^3 Watt) and Gigawatt (10^9 Watt) levels. After Certified Public Accountant innovation was developed by Gérard Mourou and Donna Strickland in 1985, by which product damage and optical nonlinearity were prevented, laser peak power was significantly increased to Terawatt (10^12 Watt) and Petawatt (10^15 Watt) levels. Today, 2 10-Petawatt Certified Public Accountant lasers have actually been shown in Europe (ELI-NP laser) and China (SULF laser), respectively.

At present, the center scale of Petawatt lasers around the globe is huge and task financial investment is likewise extremely high. The next action for future ultra-intense lasers is to additional boost the peak power by compressing the pulse period rather of increasing the pulse energy.

In their previous research study (OSA Continuum, DOI: 10.1364/OSAC.2.001125), this group established a brand-new style, “Wide-angle Non-collinear Optical Parametric Chirped Pulse Amplification (WNOPCPA),” to increase the magnified spectrum and appropriately lower the compressed pulse. The essential system of WNOPCPA is to increase the general bandwidth by utilizing a multiple-beam pump, which represents various magnified spectra. “However, the pump interference, in addition to induced possible damage, is a potential problem in applying WNOPCPA to a huge project,” describes matching author Zhaoyang Li.

In this recently enhanced style, by utilizing a two-beam pumped WNOPCPA and thoroughly enhanced phase-matching, pump disturbance is totally prevented, and an ultra-broadband bandwidth with 2 broad spectra is achieved, leading to <10 fs high-energy laser amplification. When this laser is combined with post-compression technology, the spectral broadening induced by nonlinear effects is significantly enhanced, and the simulation shows the record of the highest peak power can be pushed to the Exawatt class.

“This design has two advantages: one is ultra-broadband amplification in WNOPCPA and the other is enhancement of nonlinear spectral broadening in post-compression. This research may provide a possible way to further increase laser peak power, even up to the Exawatt class,” says Zhaoyang Li.

Reference: “Simulating an ultra-broadband concept for Exawatt-class lasers” by Zhaoyang Li, Yoshiaki Kato and Junji Kawanaka, 8 January 2021, Scientific Reports.
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-80435-6

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