Laser layout Facility layout

Laser Overview

Laser action shot!
The 64 mm diameter × 240 mm long, 8-pass rod amplifier shown in the photo uses Nd:silicate laser glass that brings the energy to 15 J. Nd:silicate is specifically selected to help the TPW amplify pulses to 150 J while retaining enough spectrum to support 140 fs pulses. The green light also shown is scattered 532 nm light from our custom OPCPA pump laser supplied by Continuum Lasers.

The Texas Petawatt Laser is a 150 J, 140 fs laser based on Optical Parametric Chirped Pulse Amplification (OPCPA) followed by power amplification in two types of Neodymium-doped glass. The laser fires single shot into either of two target chambers: A fast focus f/3 or f/1.1 target chamber primarily used for solid targets (TC-1), and a long focus f/40 target chamber primarily used for gas targets (TC-2).

The laser system is housed in a 1,500 ft2 cleanroom, which we call the Laser Bay. Inside the cleanroom, most of the laser is installed on a 34-foot-long optical table system. Timing electronics, camera monitors, and control computers are mounted on a 19-inch rack unit.

Additionally, a smaller Class 100 cleanroom is situated at the back of the lab. This secondary cleanroom is used for optical assembly and other work requiring a clean environment.

A second laser table is located opposite the Petawatt Laser. This table houses a vacuum chamber and beam tube that extends into the target area. Inside the chamber is a mirror used to focus light onto the target.