• High Power Laser Science and Engineering
  • Vol. 8, Issue 4, 04000e31 (2020)
Mario Galletti1、2、3、*, Pedro Oliveira2, Marco Galimberti2, Munadi Ahmad2、4, Giedre Archipovaite2, Nicola Booth2, Emerald Dilworth2, Andy Frackiewicz2, Trevor Winstone2, Ian Musgrave2, and Cristina Hernandez-Gomez2
Author Affiliations
  • 1GoLP/Instituto de Plasmas e Fusão Nuclear, Instituto Superior Tecnico, Universidade de Lisboa, 1049-001 Lisboa, Portugal
  • 2Central Laser Facility, Science and Technology Facilities Council, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, Didcot, UK
  • 3INFN-LNF, Via Enrico Fermi 54, 00044Frascati, Italy
  • 4School of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK
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    Abstract

    A petawatt facility fully based on noncollinear optical parametric chirped pulse amplification (NOPCPA) technology, Vulcan OPPEL (Vulcan OPCPA PEtawatt Laser), is presented. This system will be coupled with the existing hybrid-CPA/OPCPA VULCAN laser system (500 J, 500 fs beamline; 250 J, ns regime beamline) based on Nd:glass amplification. Its pulse duration (20 times shorter) combined with the system design will allow the auxiliary beamline and its secondary sources to be used as probe beams for longer pulses and their interactions with targets. The newly designed system will be mainly dedicated to electron beam generation, but could also be used to perform a variety of particle acceleration and optical radiation detection experimental campaigns. In this communication, we present the entire beamline design discussing the technology choices and the design supported by extensive simulations for each system section. Finally, we present experimental results and details of our commissioned NOPCPA picosecond front end, delivering 1.5 mJ, ~180 nm (1/e2) of bandwidth compressed to sub-15 fs.

    1 Introduction

    Intense ultra-short pulse lasers, in the range of hundreds of terawatts (TW) to the petawatt (PW) level, are unique tools for a wide range of experiments contributing to the advancement of many scientific research areas, such as laboratory astrophysics[1], high-energy-density physics[2], particle acceleration schemes[3,4] and others.