High power / high pulse energy solid state lasers
Coherent Exagonal Array of laser sources: A) Experimental Far-Field Distribution B) Effect of a Phase filtering (numerical).
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.