Abstract

We devise a laser-controlled adaptive optical element that operates intracavity under high-intensity radiation. This element substitutes a conventional mechanically deformable mirror and is free of critical heat-sensitive components and electronics. The deformation mechanism is based on the projection of a continuous-wave control laser onto a specially designed mirror. Mounted to a water-cooled heat sink, the mirror can handle laser radiation beyond 3  MW/cm2. The properties of the adaptive optical element, including the maximum correctable wavefront pitch of 800 nm, are discussed. The successful implementation in a multi-pass thin-disk amplifier is presented. An improvement of the beam quality by a factor of three is achieved. We identify measures to enhance the performance of the adaptive optics towards efficient operation in a high-power laser system.

© 2018 Optical Society of America

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