11 Dec 2017
The commissioning of the laser system L3-HAPLS at ELI-Beamlines has startedOver the past few days, the physical installation of the L3-HAPLS (Advanced Petawatt Laser System) was successfully finished. The L3-HAPLS was delivered from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) to ELI Beamlines in Dolní Břežany in June this year. Since the end of September, a joint team of scientific and technical staff from LLNL, the ELI Beamlines center of the Institute of Physics of the Academy of Sciences has worked intensively on the installation of the laser. After the connection and commissioning of cooling, vacuum, electrical and electronic systems of the laser, the first part of the laser chain has been put into operation. The first upgraded part of the L3-HAPLS system consists of an oscillator and a pump laser, which provide pulses with energy of 2 J and a repetition frequency of 10 Hz.
In the next days, four blocks of laser diode units will be launched to provide the 800 kW light pulses. The diode blocks installed here will be the world's most intense diode light sources ever-produced. In the first few months of 2018, the main L3-HAPLS laser amplifier will be put into operation, enabling the testing of the complete laser chain.
The laser system L3-HAPLS represents a new generation of diode-pumped, high-energy and high-peak-power laser systems. Once completed it will set a world record for most intense diode-pumped petawatt lasers, with energy reaching 16 joules (J) and a 28 femtosecond (fs) pulse duration (equivalent to ~0.5 petawatt/pulse) at a 3.3 hertz (Hz) repetition rate (3.3 times per second). The laser system will serve in many areas of basic and applied research. Its most significant applications include compact laser particle accelerator for new medical methods and short-wave X-ray generation for high resolution spatial and temporal resolution microscopy for material and medical research. The initial experiments will be capable of taking images with resolution orders of magnitude better from what is seen in today's hospitals.