Abstract

In this paper we present details of a scalable design for a cryogenic helium gas cooled DPSSL amplifier based on a multislab Yb:YAG geometry. A prototype amplifier design capable of efficient amplification of 10 ns pulses to 10 J at 10 Hz is presented, which has been derived from computational fluid dynamic calculations and thermal modeling. Model predictions have also been used to design a suitable cryogenic gas cooling system, details of which are also presented. Experimental testing has confirmed stable amplifier temperatures are achievable from room temperature down to 88 K, with a gas coolant temperature stability of ±0.2K. Single-pass transmission wave front measurements are in reasonable agreement with model predictions derived from thermal maps for two different YAG slab geometries. Slabs with a narrower width Cr-doped YAG absorptive cladding, added to suppress ASE, demonstrated a wave front error of 0.2 waves at 1030 nm (peak-to-valley) over the 20mm×20mm pumped region within the amplifier. The low level of optical distortion confirms that the amplifier design provides an acceptable level of temperature and flow uniformity and demonstrates the merit of a multislab geometry.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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