Home » Emerging Technologies » High peak power UV to mid-IR sources based on image rotating optical parametric oscillators
High peak power UV to mid-IR sources based on image rotating optical parametric oscillators
Research Prototype
The device will be offered for sale by AS-Photonics, LLC under license from Sandia National Laboratories.
Contact AS-Photonics, LLC
Emerging Technologies
Nanosecond optical parametric oscillators (OPOs) use difference-frequency generation in nonlinear crystals to convert pump laser light to longer wavelengths. Pumping with harmonics of Nd:YAG using crystals such as KTP, KTA, LiNbO3, BBO, and LBO accesses wavelengths from about 400 nm to 4.5 microns. Subsequent sum-frequency mixing generates wavelengths < 300 nm. Pumping with 2 micron lasers such as Ho:YLF using the crystal ZGP extends the range to about 8 microns. Obtaining energies greater than 10-20 mJ from nanosecond OPO’s requires large pump beam diameters to reduce the risk of optical damage, and for conventional OPO cavities this tends to result in very poor quality output beams. To remedy this problem Sandia National Laboratories developed a non-planar OPO cavity called the RISTRA (rotated image singly-resonant twisted rectangle) that uses intra-cavity image rotation in conjunction with angle-critical birefringent phase matching to dramatically improve beam quality, even for pump diameters of 6-8 mm. RISTRA-based laboratory systems generated 320 nm light with energies approaching 200 mJ at 10 Hz, 1550 nm light with energies > 160 mJ at 10 Hz, and 3.4 micron light with energies > 10 mJ at 500 Hz. Owing to its non-planar geometry the RISTRA cavity requires no cavity mirror tilt adjustments. It is constructed as a quasi-monolithic cylinder that is mechanically stable and well suited to rugged in-the-field applications.
Arlee Smith
AS-Photonics, LLC
8500 Menaul Blvd., NE Suite B335 Albuquerque, NM 87112
Jesse Smith
AS-Photonics, LLC
8500 Menaul Blvd., NE Suite B335 Albuquerque, NM 87112
(505) 998-0048
DeveloperDarrell Armstrong, Arlee Smith
Development SectorIndustry
R&D ProgramYes
Years Till Available<3
Investment Required$100k-$1M
Projected ApplicationTunable high energy light source for UV - mid-IR
Unit Cost$10k-$100k
Key RisksOptical damage for very high energies and thermal loading issues for high average power. Pump laser development will be required for deployment in resource constrained environments such as UAV's or satellites.
Ease of Usesingle operator
A. V. Smith and D. J. Armstrong, "Nanosecond optical parametric oscillator with 90 degree image rotation: design and performance," J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 19, 1801-1814 (2002).; D. J. Armstrong and A. V. Smith, "All solid-state high-efficiency tunable UV source for airborne or satellite-based ozone DIAL systems," IEEE J. Sel. Topics Quantum Electron. 13, 721-731,(2007).; D. J. Armstrong and A. V. Smith, "150-mJ 1550-nm KTA OPO with good beam quality and high efficiency," Proceedings of SPIE 5337, (2004).; A. Dergachev, D. Armstrong, A. Smith, T. Drake, and M. Dubois, "3.4 micron ZGP RISTRA nanosecond optical parametric oscillator pumped by a 2.05 micron Ho:YLF MOPA system," Opt. Express 15, 14404-14413 (2007).
The RISTRA OPO is the main NLO component of a laboratory prototype ozone DIAL source developed for NASA LaRC. A RISTRA based light source is currently being developed for industrial applications by Q-Peak and Lockheed Martin Aerospace.
12 Oct 2009 15:37