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Proceedings Paper

High-power free-electron laser concepts and applications
Author(s): Alan M. M. Todd
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Paper Abstract

The IR free-electron laser (IR FEL) at Jefferson Laboratory has achieved steady-state 3 micron lasing at a power level of 1.7 kW. Efforts to upgrade this device to 10 kW operation over the next three year are underway. As a result of this success and recent technology advances, free-electron lasers (FEL) should be considered a serious option for high-power, commercial material processing and military applications. The discriminating attributes of FELs are their wide-band tunability, their implicit potential for very high-power operation due to the vacuum lasing medium, and the intrinsic picosecond pulse structure that promises superior performance in certain material processing applications. Applications spanning high-value-added micromachining to low-value-added, high-power, high-throughput surface processing of metals and polymers are identified. The projected economics and market insertion point for a potential commercial application in polymer processing is described. Concepts for compact high-power FEL systems based upon superconducting RF accelerometers with energy recovery are defined. Key technology issues on the path to commercial deployment, such as the demonstration of reliable, high- current photo-cathode injectors, are identified and discussed. It is concluded that the first commercial material processing FEL beta units could be coming on line in about five years.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 May 2000
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 3931, Gas, Chemical, and Electrical Lasers and Intense Beam Control and Applications, (4 May 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.384285
Show Author Affiliations
Alan M. M. Todd, Advanced Energy Systems (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3931:
Gas, Chemical, and Electrical Lasers and Intense Beam Control and Applications
Santanu Basu; Santanu Basu; Steven J. Davis; Ernest A. Dorko, Editor(s)

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