08 Dec 2016

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




The technological breakthrough was possible thanks to a 1992 publication​, which helped lay the groundwork for the concept of ​OPCPA. 

OPCPA has opened a new branch of high power laser science and seeded major science programmes internationally. The original publication​ on the ​concept has attracted over 680 citations as of 2023.

The OPCPA scheme also forms a basis of the current upgrade of CLF's Vulcan laser facility ​to deliver a total energy output of up to 20 Kilojoules and twenty times higher peak powers (from 1 PW to 20 PW) reaching a world record output. The upgrade, named Vulcan 20-20​, will permit novel physics phenomena to be studied. ​​


The prospects for ultrashort pulse duration and ultrahigh intensity using optical parametric chirped pulse amplifiers
IN Ross, P Matousek, M Towrie, AJ Langley, JL Collier, 

Optics Communications 144, 125 (1997) doi:10.1016/S0030-4018(97)00399-4​ 

Powerful femtosecond pulse generation by chirped and stretched pulse parametric amplification in BBO crystal
A. Dubietis, G. Jonušauskas, A. Piskarskas,
Optics Communications, Volume 88, Issues 4–6, 437, 440,(1992) doi: 10.1016/0030-4018(92)90070-8

Contact: Hernandez-Gomez, Cristina (STFC,RAL,CLF)