Pulsed laser systems are advantageous for many applications compared to continuous wave (cw) lasers as they allow for generating extremely high radiation intensities, even at moderate average laser power. The high spatial and temporal concentration of energy in a laser pulse and the large parameter space, which characterises a laser pulse (pulse duration, pulse energy, pulse shape, wavelength, spectral width) open numerous applications in research and in industrial materials processing. As with high-power CW lasers, pulsed lasers also have the challenge of achieving good beam quality at high average power.
High-power pulsed systems for high brightness applications in the key topics addressed at the Institute of Technical Physics such as the detection of space debris or laser effectors are not commercially available and are therefore developed at the Institute itself. Typical pulse energies of about one joule and average powers greater than one kilowatt are required for these applications. In the Solid State Lasers and Non-linear Optics department, such pulsed lasers with high average power are investigated using the thin disk laser concept. Especially using oscillator-amplifier concepts, the pulse energy can be increased while maintaining peak intensity through power scaling of the thin disk laser by scaling the active surfaces.