High power / high pulse energy solid state lasers


Description

With the scope of overcoming the limits in specific power/energy extraction, we have been studying in the last
three decades unconventional laser source formats. These included slab and multislab lasers, annular formats
and Talbot Cavities. Experimental systems have been characterized with several different active media from
gas lasers to diode pumped solid state lasers. The experiments carried out have always been complemented by
numerical simulations to assess for instance the effects of thermo-mechanical behaviors of the different active
media formats, under high pump radiation fluences. This research and development activity is fully integrated
with the characterization activity of new laser materials both based on crystal or ceramic hosts. Extremely
compact laser sources have been constructed with CW output power in the range of hundreds of watts.
Sources that turn out to be extremely important for several application fields, ranging from laser based space
instrumentation to industrial material processing and medical applications. In our investigation of
unconventional formats we have also investigated the use of coherent arrays of laser sources, developing
methods to better exploit the peculiar properties of the field emitted by this class of systems. These methods
are particularly suited for the high power fiber laser arrays that are gaining importance in space and defense
applications.