SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1991

Damage Resistant Optics for a Mega-Joule Solid-State Laser


Research on Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF) has progressed rapidly in the past several years. As a consequence, LLNL is developing plans to upgrade the current 120 kj solid state (Nd+3-phosphate glass) Nova laser to a 1.5 to 2 megajoule system with the goal of achieving fusion ignition. The design of the planned Nova Upgrade is briefly discussed.

Because of recent improvements in the damage resistance of optical materials it is now technically and economically feasible to build a megajoule-class solid state laser. Specifically, the damage threshold of Nd+3-doped phosphate laser glass, multilayer dielectric coatings, and non-linear optical crystals (e.g., KDP) have been dramatically improved. These materials now meet the fluence requirements for a 1.5–2 MJ Nd3+-glass laser operating at 1054 and 351 nm and at a pulse length of 3 ns. The recent improvements in damage thresholds are reviewed; threshold data at both 1064 and 355 nm and the measured pulse length scaling are presented.

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Developed by Committee: F01
Pages: 444–456
DOI: 10.1520/STP23650S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5179-6
ISBN-13: 978-0-8194-0532-6