Photonics and THz Instrumentation


Femtosecond UV Laser Pulse Expander

In many applications, such as the remote identification of explosives and other hazardous compounds, UV pulses of variable length are required.  Many of the chemical processes of interest to the defense sector occur on ~100s of ps timescales and demand a high degree of control over the peak laser power.  On the other hand, there are a number of laser sources capable of producing high intensity, broad-bandwidth sub-ps pulses. Therefore, a device is required to stretch the ~100 fs laser pulses to pulse lengths as long as nanoseconds.  Such a stretcher system is common in the IR for modest stretching factors of 5-10, but in the UV and with stretching factors of up to 1,000 or more, the system becomes challenging.


RadiaBeam is developing a solution to this problem, funded by a DARPA Phase II SBIR.  The Femtosecond UV Laser Pulse Expander will be a turn-key, field-deployable, optical subsystem capable of expanding input pulses of 100 fs width to any user-specified pulse width up to 1 ns.  It will include a suite of optical diagnostics to monitor the functioning of the system as well as the optical output.