100 Watt Laser Synchronous Photoinjection

Period of Performance: 01/01/2007 - 12/31/2007

$750K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Aculight Corp.
22121 - 20th Avenue SE
Bothell, WA 98021
Firm POC
Principal Investigator

Abstract

Electron accelerators are used to expand our knowledge of nuclear physics and basic materials science; for high performance synchrotron radiation sources used in physics, chemistry, and semiconductor development; and in specialized radiation sources at the forefront of medicine. To achieve the best performance, specialized lasers are used to produce electrons for these accelerators. These lasers must be precise and reliable, and must provide much more power, in order to fully enable the capabilities of these accelerators. This project will develop a powerful and reliable laser ideally suited for use in electron sources for accelerators. The laser will use novel fiber-laser technology that is better suited to meeting the specific requirements of electron sources than previously-available technologies. The laser will produce pulses lasting less than one-tenth of one billionth of a second, at rates beyond a billion times per second, precisely synchronized in time with the cycles of electron accelerator systems. Phase I demonstrated feasibility by combining commercial electronics technology with technologies used in optical fiber communications. The solution is robust and reliable, and will allow for an easier integration of the laser with an accelerator, compared with previous approaches. Phase II will combine this new laser-pulse-generation method with advanced optical-fiber amplifier technology and nonlinear optics technology, to produce the high power laser needed for electron accelerators. The laser system will be thoroughly tested, and then delivered and installed at an electron accelerator facility. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by the awardee: In addition to enabling electron accelerators to be more productive, powerful lasers with similar characteristics should find use in semiconductor processing, where they can improve the performance and reduce the costs of flat-panel display screens, and improve the yield of semiconductor chips. The lasers also could be used for critical marking, cutting, and micromachining applications. Defense applications could include high-data-rate communication with submerged submarines, and non-lethal weapons to incapacitate enemies, while avoiding injury to noncombatant bystanders.