Optical pumped ultra-short pulse CO2 lasers as drivers of laser-plasma accelerators and other applications

Jaroszynski, D. A. and Campbell, R. N. and Brunetti, E. and Yoffe, S. R. (2019) Optical pumped ultra-short pulse CO2 lasers as drivers of laser-plasma accelerators and other applications. In: XXII International Symposium on High Power Laser Systems and Applications. SPIE, Bellingham, WA. ISBN 9781510627512

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    Abstract

    Optically pumped CO 2 lasers can operate with high efficiency, high repetition rate and large bandwidths, suitable for producing ultra-short pulses at terawatts to petawatts, in contrast to conventional discharge-pumped CO2 lasers, which are restricted by the requirements of discharge dynamics in high-pressure gas. We show how an optically pumped CO2 laser can be realised and we consider its application in laser-driven acceleration. There is potential to replace conventional transversely excited atmospheric CO2 lasers with diode-pumped solid-state lasers as a pump laser for a high-pressure CO2 gain medium, making it suitable for amplifying ultra-short pulses. We show that by driving a laser plasma wakefield accelerator with an ultra-short pulse CO 2 laser, a very high charge, high average current, high energy accelerator can be constructed. This could have a major impact on the application of these novel accelerators and radiation sources based on them.