OPCPA - Novel technology permits breaking the laser peak power barrier

Vulcan glass laser
Vulcan glass laser

A paradigm shift technology pioneered both theoretically and experimentally at CLF, Optical Parametric Chirped Pulse Amplification (OPCPA), permits high power lasers to break the current 1 PW ceiling limit and reach new levels of extreme powers.

The technological breakthrough opened a new branch of high power laser science and seeded major science programmes internationally. The original publication on the new concept has attracted over 300 citations as of 2010.

The OPCPA scheme also forms a basis of a recently initiated upgrade of CLF's Vulcan to deliver hundred times higher intensities and ten times higher peak powers (from 1 PW to 10 PW) reaching a world record output. The new regime will permit novel physics phenomena to be studied. The new facility is planned to be operational in 2015.

Dr Cristina Hernandez-Gomez
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