A ytterbium laser with thirtyfold compression by a gas-filled hollow-core fiber emits three-optical-cycle (10 fs) laser beam pulses, adding up to 318 W average power. The operating principle of such ultrafast laser systems is based on laser beam pulses of just a few optical cycles in length interwork with a matter in unique ways, for instance, in the case of its pushing beyond the research lab such laser systems offer a crucial advantage to the industry.
Nowadays a group of scientists from Germany has developed an ultrafast laser that produces multimillijoule three-cycle laser beam pulses at a 318 W average power level. Such development is highly important and promising for few-cycle laser technology creating new industrial applications, as well as the so-called HR2 laser system. A novel approach has been used here, the thing is that 300-fs-long laser beam pulses are directly compressed from a new, record-breaking high-energy, high-power laser system to the few-cycle duration.
It should be noted that a 30X compression is required, and it has only recently become possible by “the introduction of stretched flexible gas-filled hollow-fiber technology, offering almost unrestricted-length scalability.” A multichannel ytterbium laser is considered to be the largest of the kind that enables it to emit up to 10 mJ laser beam pulses at up to 1 kW average power and a 1.03 μm center wavelength applied as the light source.
Additionally, scientists employ a 6-m-long stretched flexible hollow optical fiber for the laser beam pulse compression. There is a self-phase modulation between the intense light and the gas atoms, which make the spectrum broader since the pulses from the ultrafast laser system spread through the argon gas filling the hollow waveguide. It is possible to compress the laser beam pulses with a substantially broadened spectrum to a shorter duration due to the opportunity to reduce their spectral phase with a set of chirped mirrors.
Thus, the ytterbium laser system has been already tested and demonstrated great results of producing multimillijoule 10 fs laser beam pulses at a 100 kHz repetition rate and an average power of 318 W, which is regarded as the highest average power ever achieved for a few-cycle fiber laser. Finally, such fiber laser technology promotes bringing high-power industry-grade laser systems into the few-cycle regime, therefore, enlarging new opportunities for industrial applications, for example, like highly parallelized materials processing. Also, the scientists confirm that this laser system favors completing the transformation of few-cycle technology from research devices to industrial tools.
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