Abstract

The performance scaling of high-power picosecond cryogenically cooled rod-type Yb:YAG multipass amplification is studied numerically, taking into account diffraction, dispersion, self-focusing, self-phase modulation, gain guiding, and thermal lensing effects. It is shown that the beam size narrows as the beam energy rises, rapidly reaching the damage threshold of optics, mainly due to gain guiding and self-focusing effect. Simulation results predict that for a 1 kHz cryogenically cooled Yb:YAG bulk amplifier, it is difficult to obtain energies beyond 40 mJ with 100 ps seed pulse in a single stage, which is consistent with experimental results, while it is possible to produce more than 100 mJ with 300 ps pulses.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

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