High-power electro-optically controlled divided-pulse amplification
In this contribution, we present the newest results of the recently introduced pulse-energy-scaling technique electrooptically controlled divided-pulse amplification (EDPA) and its implementation in a high-power fiber laser system based on coherent combination. In this experiment, a burst of 8 stretched fs-pulses is amplified in two high-power fiber amplifier channels followed by coherent combination into a single pulse. Afterwards, the signal is compressed to a FWHM pulse duration of 255 fs with a pulse energy of 3 mJ and an average power of 105 W. The additional degrees of freedom provided by EDPA, such as direct access to the amplitudes and phases of all individual pulses in each burst, are exploited to compensate for gain saturation effects. Thus, a great temporal contrast of about 18.5 dB is reached and a very high combining efficiency of nearly 80%, including spatial as well as temporal combining, is reached. Furthermore, the system features three customized multi-pass cells as optical delay lines, minimizing the footprint of the combining stage to 0.5 m2. For the time being, two amplifiers are employed in order to initially optimize the parameters of EDPA and the performance of temporal combining. However, the laser system comprises a total of 16 parallel main amplifier channels, potentially enabling spatio-temporal combination of 128 separately amplified pulses with the currently applied bursts of 8 pulses. This extension is part of upcoming experiments and will allow for significant further scaling of the pulse energy in the near future.