Abstract

Ultrashort pulsed lasers have become critical to understanding light-matter interactions in new regimes such as generation of attosecond pulses, laser filamentation, and intense relativistic processes. Development of more powerful and energetic ultrafast lasers is required for advancing these fields of study. Several petawatt class systems now exist with more in development to further scale peak power and extend the frontier of ultrafast laser technology. Another relevant solution to the scaling of energy and power of ultrashort pulses is coherent beam combining (CBC). CBC is useful for not only scaling of laser parameters but also to mitigate parasitic nonlinear processes associated with high-intensity ultrashort pulses. In addition CBC is flexible and can be implemented as part of other techniques for ultrashort pulse amplification such as optical-parametric chirped-pulse amplification (OPCPA).

In this thesis, CBC of ultrashort laser pulses is investigated based upon the method known as divided-pulse amplification (DPA). Active, passive and hybrid DPA have been achieved in a flashlamp-pumped Nd:YAG laser seeded from a Ti:sapphire mode-locked laser. Picosecond pulses at a repetition rate of 2.5 Hz were amplified and combined to record energy of 216 mJ with a combination efficiency of 80%. Engineering of the Nd:YAG amplifier chain for high-efficiency energy extraction is presented. In addition, phasing of actively divided pulses with a CW pilot laser co-propagating with the pulsed beam is also demonstrated. Analysis of multiple DPA configurations shows the viability of the method for a variety of different laser architectures including discussion of design restrictions.

Thesis Completion

2016

Semester

Spring

Thesis Chair

Shah, Lawrence

Degree

Bachelor of Science in Photonic Science and Engineering (B.S.P.S.E.)

College

College of Optics and Photonics

Department

CREOL

Degree Program

Photonic Science & Engineering

Location

Orlando (Main) Campus

Language

English

Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus-only Access

1 year

Release Date

5-1-2017

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