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In this paper, we review the status of the multifunctional experimental platform at the National Laboratory of High Power Laser and Physics (NLHPLP). The platform, including the SG-II laser facility, SG-II 9th beam, SG-II upgrade (SG-II UP) facility, and SG-II 5 PW facility, is operational and available for interested scientists studying inertial confinement fusion (ICF) and a broad range of high-energy-density physics. These facilities can provide important experimental capabilities by combining different pulse widths of nanosecond, picosecond, and femtosecond scales. In addition, the SG-II UP facility, consisting of a single petawatt system and an eight-beam nanosecond system, is introduced including several laser technologies that have been developed to ensure the performance of the facility. Recent developments of the SG-II 5 PW facility are also presented.
A high power laser system was used to drive the ignition of inertial confinement fusion (ICF), of which the high energy, the uniform focal spot, the accurate laser waveform, and the synchronization between the laser beams are key parameters. To accomplish this, global laser characteristics control should be assured, which was the main purpose of the injection laser system. In this paper, the key technological progress involved in the improvement of the performance of the injection laser of SG-II is reported, including frequency domain control, time domain control, near-field spatial shaping, pre-amplifier technology, and the optical parametric chirped pulse amplification pump source.
We present a recent progress of the SG-II 5PW facility, which designed a multi-petawatt ultrashort pulse laser based on optical parametric chirped-pulse amplification (OPCPA). The prior two optical parametric amplifiers have been accomplished and chirped pulses with an energy of 49.7 J and a full-width-at-half-maximum (FWHM) spectrum bandwidth of 85 nm have been achieved. In the PW-scale optical parametric amplification (OPA), with the pump pulse that has an energy of 118 J from the second harmonic generation of the SG-II 7th beam, the pump-to-signal conversion efficiency is up to 41.9%, which to the best of our knowledge is the highest among all of the reported values for OPCPA systems. The compressed pulse is higher than 37 J in 21 fs (1.76 PW), and the focal spot is
after the closed-loop corrections by the adaptive optics. Limited by the repetition of the pump laser, the SG-II 5PW facility operates one shot per hour. It has successfully been employed for high energy physics experiments.
An optically addressed liquid crystal modulator for wavefront control of 1053 nm laser beam is reported in this paper. Its working principle, control method and spatial phase modulation capability are mainly introduced. A new method of measuring the relationship between gray level and phase retardation is proposed. The rationality of the curve is further confirmed by designing special experiments. According to the curve, several spatial phase distributions have been realized by this home-made device. The results show that, not only the maximum phase retardation is larger than
for 1053 nm wavelength, but also the control accuracy is high. Compared with the liquid crystal on silicon type spatial light modulator, this kind of modulator has the advantages of generating smooth phase distribution and avoiding the black-matrix effect.
We demonstrate a laser diode end-pumped helium gas-cooled multislab Nd:glass laser amplifier. The design and thermal management of the proposed laser amplifier are discussed. The thermally induced wavefront aberration of the slabs was also measured and compared with simulation results. A small-signal single-pass longitudinal gain of 1.8 was measured with a pump energy of 7.3 J. With an injected seed energy of 0.6 mJ, the output energy from the amplifier reached 0.5 J at 0.2 Hz and 0.43 J at 0.5 Hz in a multipass extraction geometry, thus demonstrating the feasibility of diode-pumped, high-energy lasers with direct gas cooling.
In high power laser facility for inertial confinement fusion research, final optics assembly (FOA) plays a critical role in the frequency conversion, beam focusing, color separation, beam sampling and debris shielding. The design and performance of FOA in SG-II Upgrade laser facility are mainly introduced here. Due to the limited space and short focal length, a coaxial aspheric wedged focus lens is designed and applied in the FOA configuration. Then the ghost image analysis, the focus characteristic analysis, the B integral control design and the optomechanical design are carried out in the FOA design phase. In order to ensure the FOA performance, two key technologies are developed including measurement and adjustment technique of the wedged focus lens and the stray light management technique based on ground glass. Experimental results show that the design specifications including laser fluence, frequency conversion efficiency and perforation efficiency of the focus spot have been achieved, which meet the requirements of physical experiments well.
Temporal contrast is one of the crucial physical determinants which guarantee the successful performance of laser–matter interaction experiments. We generally reviewed the influences on the temporal contrast in three categories of noises based on the requirement by the physical mechanisms. The spatiotemporal influences on temporal contrast at the focal region of the chromatic aberration and propagation time difference introduced by large-aperture broadband spatial filters, which were spatiotemporally coupled with compression and focusing, were calculated and discussed with a practical case in SG-II 5 PW ultrashort petawatt laser. The system-wide spatiotemporal coupling existing in large-aperture broadband ultrashort petawatt lasers was proved to be one of the possible causes of temporal contrast degradation in the focal region.
The Shen-Guang II Upgrade (SG-II-U) laser facility consists of eight high-power nanosecond laser beams and one short-pulse picosecond petawatt laser. It is designed for the study of inertial confinement fusion (ICF), especially for conducting fast ignition (FI) research in China and other basic science experiments. To perform FI successfully with hohlraum targets containing a golden cone, the long-pulse beam and cylindrical hohlraum as well as the short-pulse beam and cone target alignment must satisfy tight specifications (30 and
rms for each case). To explore new ICF ignition targets with six laser entrance holes (LEHs), a rotation sensor was adapted to meet the requirements of a three-dimensional target and correct beam alignment. In this paper, the strategy for aligning the nanosecond beam based on target alignment sensor (TAS) is introduced and improved to meet requirements of the picosecond lasers and the new six LEHs hohlraum targets in the SG-II-U facility. The expected performance of the alignment system is presented, and the alignment error is also discussed.
Light carrying orbital angular momentum (OAM) has a spatial distribution of intensity and phase, which attracts considerable interest regarding several potential applications in optical and quantum scenarios recently. Spiral phase plates are commonly used elements for generating and analyzing OAM states. In this study, we put forward a method of directly writing binary multi-sector phase plates using the femtosecond laser. These phase plates are engraved on fused silica, which could be applied in high-intensity regimes. Different binary multi-sector phase plates were generated with high quality, which were proved by the observation of their structures, accompanied by detecting the beam patterns with the Gaussian beams. The proposed method provides a crucial basis for the rapid manufacturing of phase plates using convenient equipment, which can generate the superposition OAM states and may lead to the capability of measuring the high-dimensional entanglement.
Auto-alignment is a basic technique for high-power laser systems. Special techniques have been developed for laser systems because of their differing structures. This paper describes a new sensor for auto-alignment in a laser system, which can also serve as a reference in certain applications. The authors prove that all of the beam transfer information (position and pointing) can theoretically be monitored and recorded by the sensor. Furthermore, auto-alignment with a single lens sensor is demonstrated on a simple beam line, and the results indicate that effective auto-alignment is achieved.
The objective of maintaining the cleanliness of the multi-segment disk amplifier in Shenguang-II (SG-II) is to reduce laser-induced damage for optics. The flow field of clean gas, which is used for the transportation of contaminant particles, is a key factor affecting the cleanliness level in the multi-segment disk amplifier. We developed a gas–solid coupling and three-dimensional flow numerical simulation model. The three-dimensional and two-phase flow model is verified by the flow-field smog experiment and the particle concentration measurement experiment with the 130-disk amplifier in SG-II. By optimizing the boundary conditions with the same flow rate, the multi-inlet vector flow scheme can not only effectively reduce the purging time, but also prevent the reverse diffusion of contaminant particles in the multi-segment disk amplifier and the deposition of contaminant particles on the surface of the Nd:glass.
A type of
ultra-broadband antireflective coating has been developed using modified low refractive silica and high refractive silica layers by a sol–gel dip coating method for amplifier blast shields of the Shen Guang II high power laser facility (SG-II facility). Deposition of the first layer (high refractive index silica) involves baking at
in the post-treatment step. The second layer (low refractive index,
) uses low refractive index silica sol modified by acid catalysis. Thermal baking at temperatures no less than
for 60 min offers chemical stability, ethanol scratch resistance, and resistance to washing with water. The average residual reflection of dual-side-coated fused silica glass was less than 1% in the spectral range from 450 to 950 nm. Transmission gain has been evaluated by taking into account angular light, and the results show that the transmission gain increases with increasing light incidence. Even at
, the transmission spectrum of the broadband antireflective coating effectively covered the main absorption peak of Nd:glass.
Optical damages, which severely degrade the output energy performance of Nd:glass regenerative amplifiers, are discussed in detail in this paper. By a series of experiments, it has been confirmed that these damages result from laser-induced contamination. Based on this work, several improvements are made to boost output energy performance of the regenerative amplifier. The output energy of the regenerative amplifier after improvements declines 4% after 1000 h of operation, much less than it used to, 60% after 560 h of operation.