Wavelength-tunable High-repetition-rate Mode-locked Laser Source for Accelerator Applications

Period of Performance: 02/22/2016 - 11/21/2016

$150K

Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

NP Photonics, Inc.
9030 South Rita Road Suite 120
Tucson, AZ 85747
Firm POC
Principal Investigator

Research Institution

Arizona State University
660 South Mil Avenue, Suite 312
Tempe, AZ 85287
Institution POC

Abstract

High repetition rate (0.5-3 GHz) mode-locked laser source with ten-watt- level average power and with an ultra-broad wavelength tunable range of 700-850 nm is solicited by Department of Energy (DOE) to drive polarized photon-injectors for the accelerator applications. Although Ti:Sapphire laser systems have been dominant at this wavelength range, it is still very challenging to achieve 10-watt average power, > 0.5 GHz repetition rate, ultra- broad wavelength tunable mode-locked laser with a Ti:Sapphire laser system. High average power, high repetition rate mode-locked laser, however, can be easily achieved with current fiber laser technology owing to the advantages of inherent simplicity and compactness, high unit gain, high power scalability, and outstanding heat dissipation capability. On the other hand, ultra- broad wavelength tunable laser can be easily achieved with optical parametric oscillator (OPO) laser technology. Therefore, mode-locked fiber laser pumped OPO laser source can meet the target requirements and should be ideally suitable for driving polarized photo-injectors. In response to this DOE solicitation, we propose to develop a 1-GHz repetition rate, 10-W average power, wavelength tunable (700-850 nm) OPO laser source pumped by a high power mode- locked ytterbium-doped fiber laser system, which will be developed with our unique technology and capability of short-length highly doped fiber lasers and amplifiers. During the Phase I program, NP Photonics will demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed laser source by (1) developing a highly stable and reliable 1 GHz mode-locked ytterbium-doped phosphate fiber laser oscillator; (2) developing a 20-W ytterbium fiber amplifier for direct pulse amplification; (3) achieving 10- watt-level mode-locked green laser by frequency doubling of the ytterbium fiber amplifier; (4) demonstrating a fiber-laser-pumped OPO with a wavelength tunable range of 700-850 nm. A fully-functional laser source will be developed and delivered to DOE laboratory in Phase II. In addition to aforementioned applications of DOE, NP Photonics proposed laser system can also be used for material processing, highly nonlinear process in atoms and molecules, optical arbitrary waveform generations, ultra-stable microwave references, material processing, and frequency comb spectroscopy. Fiber laser technology is transforming and enabling laser applications across many fields, including materials processing, medicine, and environmental sensing. In this project, fiber lasers will make possible an efficient, compact, and low cost system to inject tailored streams of charged particles for use in diverse applications such as cancer surgery, ion implantation in semiconductors, and for safeguarding nuclear device technologies.