Project: Chirped-pulse High-Energy Optical Parametric System (CHEOPS)

The primary aim of this research project is the development of a novel mid-IR short pulse (pulse durations in the range of tens of femtoseconds) laser system generating in the spectral range 3-4 µm._x000D__x000D_The secondary aim of this project is further development of LD pumped Nd and Yb ions based solid state ps pulse duration laser technologies for materials machining and biomedical applications. Applicability of powerful laser sources of tunable radiation for biotechnology and material processing will be studied. _x000D_The development of LD pumped components and nonlinear frequency convertion technologies which could be used for custom laser system design are of great value for Ekspla too._x000D__x000D_We propose to develop and bring on the market an unprecedented multipurpose ultrafast optical parametric amplifier system operating at a 100-GW peak power and tens of watts average power in the infrared wavelength region (3-4.2 µm). The primary target area of such a system is high field research and related applications based on the generation of secondary radiation, such as production of soft and hard coherent X-rays for time-and space-resolved imaging and spectroscopy of materials. The second major application area is for atmospheric applications, typically related to standoff detection, ranging, and security tasks, which would take advantage of the eye-safe emission wavelength and the highest atmospheric transparency in this MID-IR spectral region._x000D__x000D_For realization this task several technologies have to be developed and applied: _x000D_1. Yb ion based master oscillator and Yb ion based regenerative amplifier_x000D_2. Optically synchronized Nd ions based regenerative amplifier;_x000D_3. Narrowband pulse chirping _x000D_4. 1kHz repetition rate Nd ions based power amplifier producing 200W output power;_x000D_5. Seed source for 4µm OPCPA;_x000D_6. mid-IR pulse multi stage OPCPA;_x000D_7. mid-IR pulse stretcher and compressor._x000D__x000D_The strongest points of the project CHEOPS and its underlying system architecture can be summarized as follows:_x000D_1) We propose a unique way of solving the problem of average power scaling by implementing a double grating pulse compression compatible with the narrowband high-gain Nd-doped media._x000D_2) By realizing a pump laser at 1 µm, we open the way to use KTP/KTA crystals that are transparent up to >4 µm in the mid IR. For several vital reasons, this wavelength region cannot be efficiently addressed with the 0.8-µm pump wavelength._x000D_3) The MID-IR operating wavelength, few-cycle pulse duration, multi-mJ pulse energy and high average power shall set an unprecedented stage for applications. Consequently, the utility of the proposed CHEOPS system will be vastly expanded in comparison with its Ti:sapphire counterparts.

Acronym CHEOPS (Reference Number: 6655)
Duration 02/01/2012 - 10/12/2014
Project Topic We propose to develop and commercialize an up to 1 kHz-repetition-rate mid infrared (3-4 µm) high energy optical parametric system delivering few-optical-cycle pulses with energies exceeding ten of mJ for various environmental sensing, basic research and materials processing applications.
Project Results
(after finalisation)
1. The technology of novel two-output-wavelength master oscillator has been developed and implemented;_x000D_2.CPA technique was tested in the case of narrow-band Nd:YAG amplification system._x000D_3. Several configurations of high pulse energy picosecond and femtosecond pulse regenerative amplifiers were designed._x000D_4. Sub-100 fs, 30-mJ pulses centered at 3.9 µm were generated by employing hybrid femtosecond OPA and three-stage picosecond OPCPA approach._x000D_5. Self-compression of multi-mJ mid-IR pulses to sub-three optical cycle pulse duration has been demonstrated._x000D_5. With the generated mid-IR pulses filamentation in atmosphere at ambient pressure has been achieved._x000D_7. Soft X-ray radiation extending to 1.6 keV (0.77 nm) has been generated with mid-IR pulses._x000D_8. Hard x-rays were efficiently generated in Cu-tape.
Network Eurostars
Call Eurostars Cut-Off 6

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
2 Photonics Institute, Vienna University of Technology Partner Austria
2 UAB "Ekspla" Coordinator Lithuania