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Proceedings Paper

Laser-induced damage of nonlinear crystals in ultrafast, high-repetition-rate, mid-infrared optical parametric amplifiers pumped at 1 µm
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Paper Abstract

The exceptional power scalability of Yb lasers has enabled the development of pulsed optical parametric amplifiers (OPA’s) operating at the short-wave edge of the mid-IR (MIR) with average powers beyond 10 W simultaneously providing peak powers in excess of 1 GW. Further wavelength extension into the longer-wave MIR is enabled by novel wide-bandgap non-oxide nonlinear crystals that can be pumped directly at 1 μm without detrimental one- and twophoton absorption of pump radiation. Eliminating the usual difference frequency generation step in producing MIR pulses above 5 μm could potentially increase the conversion efficiency of parametric down-conversion devices and enable a significant boost in the attainable average and peak power. Despite their utmost importance, material properties related to ultrafast laser-induced damage in nonlinear crystals are rarely investigated in the corresponding laser parameter range. In order to help unravel the complicated interplay of photorefractive effects, thermal lensing, and selffocusing/ defocusing affecting the beam quality and catastrophic breakdown threshold in MIR OPA’s, we present the nonlinear index of refraction at 1 μm of KTiOAsO4, LiGaS2, and BaGa4S7. The reported data provide crucial design parameters for the development of high-average-power MIR OPA’s. As examples, (i) a 100-kHz, 1.55/3.1 μm dual-beam OPA delivering multi-GW peak power in each beam and a total average power of 55 W and (ii) a 100-kHz, sub-100-fs, 1-μm-pumped OPA tunable in the 5.7-10.5-μm range are briefly presented.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 July 2019
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 11063, Pacific Rim Laser Damage 2019: Optical Materials for High-Power Lasers, 1106307 (8 July 2019); doi: 10.1117/12.2540125
Show Author Affiliations
Mark Mero, Max Born Institute for Nonlinear Optics and Short Pulse Spectroscopy (Germany)
Li Wang, Max Born Institute for Nonlinear Optics and Short Pulse Spectroscopy (Germany)
Weidong Chen, Max Born Institute for Nonlinear Optics and Short Pulse Spectroscopy (Germany)
Fujian Institute of Research on the Structure of Matter (China)
Ning Ye, Fujian Institute of Research on the Structure of Matter (China)
Ge Zhang, Fujian Institute of Research on the Structure of Matter (China)
Valentin Petrov, Max Born Institute for Nonlinear Optics and Short Pulse Spectroscopy (Germany)
Zsuzsanna Heiner, Humboldt-Univ. zu Berlin (Germany)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 11063:
Pacific Rim Laser Damage 2019: Optical Materials for High-Power Lasers
Jianda Shao; Takahisa Jitsuno; Wolfgang Rudolph, Editor(s)

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