Abstract

We demonstrate amplification of picosecond laser pulses to 40mJ at a 2kHz pulse repetition frequency (PRF) from a two-stage cryogenic chirped-pulse Yb:YAG amplifier, composed of a regenerative amplifier (RGA) and a two-pass booster amplifier. The RGA produces 8.2mJ of energy at 2kHz PRF and 13.2mJ at 1kHz PRF with excellent energy stability (~0.3% rms) and beam quality (M2<1.1). Pulse stretching and compression are achieved by using a chirped fiber Bragg grating and a multilayer dielectric grating pair, respectively. Compressed 15ps pulses from the RGA are obtained with a throughput efficiency of ~80% (~6.5 mJ for 2kHz). The booster amplifier further amplifies the pulses to 40mJ at 2kHz PRF, and ~32 mJ, ~15 ps pulses are expected after compression. The amplifier chain seeded from a femtosecond Yb-fiber laser enables the optical self-synchronization between signal and pump in optical parametric chirped-pulse amplifier applications.

© 2010 Optical Society of America

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