Optical pumped ultra-short pulse CO2 lasers as drivers of laser-plasma accelerators and other applications

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Optically pumped CO 2 lasers can operate with high efficiency, high repetition rate and large bandwidths, suitable for producing ultra-short pulses at terawatts to petawatts, in contrast to conventional discharge-pumped CO2 lasers, which are restricted by the requirements of discharge dynamics in high-pressure gas. We show how an optically pumped CO2 laser can be realised and we consider its application in laser-driven acceleration. There is potential to replace conventional transversely excited atmospheric CO2 lasers with diode-pumped solid-state lasers as a pump laser for a high-pressure CO2 gain medium, making it suitable for amplifying ultra-short pulses. We show that by driving a laser plasma wakefield accelerator with an ultra-short pulse CO 2 laser, a very high charge, high average current, high energy accelerator can be constructed. This could have a major impact on the application of these novel accelerators and radiation sources based on them.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationXXII International Symposium on High Power Laser Systems and Applications
EditorsPaolo Di Lazzaro
Place of PublicationBellingham, WA
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jan 2019


  • CO2 lasers
  • laser wakefield accelerators
  • optically pumped lasers
  • ultra-short pulse CO2 laser
  • EUV photolithography
  • diode pumped solid state lasers


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