Development and application of high-energy, high pulse repetition rate diode-pumped solid state lasers
Efficient, high energy (>10 J), high repetition rate (>10 Hz) pulsed laser systems are required for a wide range of scientific and commercial applications such as materials processing, high-intensity laser-matter interactions studies, advanced imaging and novel medical treatments. To meet these needs, an innovative architecture, based on diode-pumped solid-state laser technology, is being developed in the framework of the DiPOLE project at the Central Laser Facility. Recent experimental results include production of nanosecond pulses at 10 J and 10 Hz, and at 100 J and 1 Hz operation, with optical-to-optical efficiency of over 20%. This project will focus on the development and the application of next-generation DiPOLE systems. The candidate will be required to perform optical design and laser-physical and thermo-optical modelling to further improve critical parameters, such as output pulse energy, repetition rate, spectral bandwidth, and overall system efficiency. The candidate will additionally work on the development of ultra-high damage threshold optics to increase system lifetime and reliability. Design improvements identified during the modelling stage will be implemented for the commissioning of next-generation DiPOLE systems. The candidate will investigate possible applications of the new systems, such as material processing and pumping of ultrashort-pulse parametric amplifiers.