Effort will now concentrate on delivering the final milestone, 70 J output at 10 Hz.
The D-100X system is currently being installed at the High Energy Density (HED) instrument at the European XFEL, as part of the Helmholtz International Beamline for Extreme Fields (HIBEF) project. It will be used to compress material to high density, and the extreme states produced will be diagnosed by the synchronised XFEL x-ray beam. This will enable the study of new phases of matter at extreme conditions of pressure and temperature (up to 1 TPa and 10,000K), such as are experienced at centre of extrasolar planets. Uniquely, the temporal pulse of the D-100X system can be shaped to investigate the effect on the high energy densities created.
The CLF's DiPOLE laser architecture provides a scalable concept design for efficient, high-energy, high-repetition rate, diode-pumped laser systems. The D-100X laser system builds on the initial DiPOLE design to increase the output energy, with two cryogenically-cooled, multi-slab amplifier heads in series that allow it to deliver a unique combination of high pulse energy (100 J) and a rapid pulse repetition rate (10 Hz).
Layout of the HED experimental setup, with the DiPOLE-100X laser system
The D-100X system has been jointly funded by STFC and EPSRC via a grant to Oxford University, and is under loan from the CLF as a UK-funded contribution in kind to the European XFEL. Teams from the CLF, HiBEF and the European XFEL have been working together to commission the system, and reached a milestone in ramping the energy up to 70 J at 1 Hz on 16th June 2022.
The next milestones to be achieved are delivery of 70 J at 10 Hz, and long-term stability tests at 70 J and 1 Hz, both of which will be achieved in the coming months.
Regular operations at these energies and repetition rates will be carried out by European XFEL and HiBEF teams, so that they can fully familiarise themselves with the daily operation of the D-100X system ahead of the first experiments that are scheduled for 2023.