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Project A.1.4

Fig. A.1.2: Yb: Yb:YAG thin-disk laser head for sub-ps pulse amplification at kHz repetition rate (by courtesy of TRUMPF GmbH).

PFS pro – a kHz, sub-PW, few-cycle source

The PFS-pro infrastructure represents one of the main pillars of CALA. It aims at delivering Joule-scale, few-cycle pulses (~0.5 J, ~5 fs) at kHz repetition rate. In PFS-pro the tried and tested 1-10 Hz PFS technology will be scaled to higher repetition rates. Thus, a kHz (sub-)picosecond pump-laser technology represents one of the major challenges of this project. Our method of choice is chirped-pulse amplification (implemented possibly with high-dispersive mirrors) using thin-disk-based, diode-pumped Yb:YAG laser technology (Fig. A.1.2), which has been successfully pursued at MPQ for several years.

The PFS-pro development will draw on the continued collaborations with J. Hein (Jena) and M. Siebold (Dresden-Rossendorf) in terms of bulk (1-10 Hz) Yb:YAG technology, with D. Sutter (Trumpf GmbH,Schramberg) and F. Dausinger (Dausinger+Giesen GmbH, Stuttgart) on the thin-disk technology. We expect that by the time the work on PFS-pro commences (2012) the main technological issues will be resolved separately. The remaining (still substantial) challenge will be to combine the different technologies and to establish a reliable, user-friendly facility providing the unique specifications for demanding experiments.

The development of dispersive, wide-band, high-damage-threshold multilayer technology  in cooperation with Project A.2.1 is essential to reach the extremely ambitious target parameters. Once available, PFS-pro will open a new chapter in attosecond science by extending isolated attosecond pulse generation to substantially higher energies (--> microjoules) and photon energies (--> 1 keV) and using them for nonlinear attosecond spectroscopy and other applications in the B areas.

Project Leader