Technical Event
Damage Competition Results and Mini-Symposium
14 October 2021 • 10:00 AM - 12:30 PM EDT icon_live_event.svg
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Session Moderators:

Andrius Melninkaitis, Vilnius Univ. (Lithuania)
M.J. Soileau, CREOL, Univ. of Central Florida (United States)

Laser Damage Competition Results
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Raluca Negres, Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)

Raluca Negres presents the results of the annual Laser Damage Competition. This is double-blind laser damage competition to determine the current laser damage resistance of 515-nm, normal incidence multilayer mirrors in the femtosecond pulse regime. Read about the requirements for this competition here:

Mini-Symposium on Mid-Infrared Optical Materials and High-Power Lasers

Keynote Presentation

Mid-IR high-order multiphoton absorption and nonlinear refraction in GaP, ZnSe, GaSe, and ZGP crystals
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Konstantin Vodopyanov, CREOL, Univ. of Central Florida (United States)

Using Z-scan and femtosecond 2.35-µm pulses, we study high-order nonlinear effects – multiphoton absorption (MPA) and nonlinear refraction (n2) in several notable mid-IR nonlinear monocrystals. We find that the multiphoton absorption orders N vary from N=4 (GaSe, ZGP) to N=6 (GaP, ZnSe) and correspond to the crystals’ bandgaps.

Konstantin Vodopyanov is an Endowed Chair & Professor of Optics and Physics at CREOL, College of Optics & Photonics, Univ. Central Florida. Dr. Vodopyanov is a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS), Optical Society of America (OSA), SPIE – International Society for Optical Engineering, UK Institute of Physics (IOP). He has > 400 technical publications and is the author of the book: "Laser-based mid-infrared sources and applications" (Wiley, 2020). Konstantin is a member of program committees for several major laser conferences including CLEO (he was General Chair in 2010) and Photonics West. His research interests include nonlinear optics, mid-IR and terahertz-wave generation, ultra-broadband frequency combs, and their spectroscopic and biomedical applications.

Mini-Symposium Presentations:

Non-linear materials for efficient mid-IR few cycle pulse compression
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Bálint Kiss, ELI-ALPS Research Institute (Hungary)

A simple and cheap technique for post-compression of mid-IR laser pulses relies on nonlinear spectral broadening via SPM in mm-thick optical windows (plates) followed by recompression. Efficient broadening requires peak intensities of ~hundred GW/cm2, which in case of high average power (>10W) drivers puts serious requirements on the used optical materials’ thermal properties, purity, homogeneity, surface quality and LIDT of coatings. Several materials (YAG, fluorides, KBr, Si, ZnSe, ZnS) were tested with 3.2 µm, 13W (130 µJ, 100 kHz), 48 fs pumping. Measured nonlinear absorption, wavefront distortion, spectral broadening and long-term survival as a function of intensity will be shown.

Recent progress in high-power 2-μm thin-disk lasers development
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Sergei Tomlinov, Ruhr-Univ. Bochum (Germany)

Thin-disk lasers (TDLs) at 1 µm wavelength have made spectacular progress in the last decades both in high-power continuous-wave and ultrafast operation. Transferring the advantages of this geometry to longer wavelengths can significantly boost development of application-ready high-power ultrafast MIR laser systems. We report on our recent progress in this field, demonstrating several Ho:YAG-based laser oscillators, featuring 112 W of CW-operation output power and 40.5 W of mode-locked output with pulse duration in the ps-range.

Sergei Tomlinov's research is de­di­ca­ted to the de­ve­lop­ment of high-power ul­tra­f­ast laser sour­ces based on per­spec­tive Mid-IR ac­tive media such as Ho and Tm doped ma­te­ri­als, in order to crea­te power­ful and ef­fec­tive dri­vers for the sta­te-of-art OPOs, XUV and THz ge­ne­ra­ti­on set­ups.

Specific mechanisms of bulk and surface absorption of ultrashort mid-infrared laser pulses in optical materials
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Vitaly Gruzdev, Univ. of New Mexico (United States)

Low photon energy of mid-infrared radiation supports generation of non-equilibrium free-carrier plasma in transparent optical materials via nonlinear absorption and associated inter-band electron excitation. The collision rate of the plasma may be low so that the free carriers experience from zero to very few collisions per electron per pulse for pulses shorter than 200 fs. Those features of the free-carrier plasma support specific mechanisms of light absorption. We consider solid-state analogs of the Brunel absorption at interfaces, Landau damping, and nonlinear absorption by free-carrier stimulated inverse bremsstrahlung. Parametric scaling of those mechanisms is compared against that of the traditional models.

Dr. Vitaly Gruzdev received MS degree in Laser and Optical Engineering from St. Petersburg Institute of Fine Mechanics and Optics (Russia) in 1994, and Ph. D. in Optics from the Federal Research Center “S. I. Vavilov State Optical Institute” (St. Petersburg, Russia) in 2000. In 2005 he joined the Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri, USA. Since 2018 he has been an Associate Research Professor with the Department of Physics & Astronomy, University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. Theoretical description and simulations of high-intensity ultrafast laser interactions with transparent solids, nonlinear absorption, and photoionization are his major areas of research. He is a member of SPIE, a Co-chair of Annual SPIE Laser Damage Symposium (since 2009), and an Associate Editor of Optical Engineering (since 2016). In 2020 he was awarded with Newton Award for Transformative Ideas during the COVID-19 Pandemic.