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Consider all the light, that the sun sheds on the entire area of Texas and New Mexico on a sunny afternoon in July. A Petawatt laser provides the same flux of light! Well- admittingly the pulse is so short that the magnitude of its duration escapes the human imagination. Still, this extremely intense burst of coherent light can be focused to a spot smaller than the thickness of a human hair. These amazing intensities can create temperatures in excess of a billion degrees (don't worry about the actual temperature unit) and are extremely valuable for state-of-the-art research.

When the decision was made to build a short pulse version of Z-Beamlet, the approach of a modular system which would be gradually enlargened was taken. Bringing up the system in stages provides the opportunity to gain experience in operation with this complex and individually taylored facility prior to commissioning each sensitive and expensive module. Furthermore, meaningful experiments can be carried out with the new systems way before the full facility can be operational.

The short pulse system is based on the Chirped Pulse Amplification principle and starts off with a commercially available Ti:sapphire oscillator, tuned to 1053nm wavelength. The amplification of this "seed" is phased in three modules, where the third module can be operated under different conditions:

Z-Petawatt modules 1st module:
100 GW @ 10 Hz
2nd module:
10 TW
3rd module:
100 TW
3rd module:
Project phase In operation In operation Comissioning Design/Construction
Underlying technology OPCPA:
3 three stages
2 rod amplifiers:
double path
10 slab amplifiers:
double path
10 slab amplifiers:
4x path
Gain medium BBO crystals Phosphate glass Phosphate glass Phosphate glass
Output energy 10 mJ 2.8 J 50 J 400 J / 1.5 kJ
Output beam diameter 4 mm 20 mm / 50 mm 145 mm 145 mm / 300 mm
Shot interval 100 ms 20 min 2-3 h 3-4 h
Valid target areas: 10 TW, 100 TW, PW 10TW, 100TW, PW 100TW, PW PW


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