Ultra-smooth mirrors enhance laser power density

Optical Surfaces reports on how high power laser research groups around the world are commissioning ultra-smooth off-axis paraboloic mirrors to be used as the primary focusing element for their Petawatt laser beam lines.

Off-axis paraboloids offer the advantage of an unobstructed aperture and access to the focal plane. In addition, due to their completely achromatic performance, they are especially suitable for broadband or multiple wavelength applications. 

Using proprietary production techniques, and benefiting from a highly stable manufacturing environment, the company's experienced and skilled engineering team are able to produce fast-focusing off-axis parabolic mirrors with excellent surface accuracy, surface quality and surface slope errors.

Dr Aris Kouris of Optical Surfaces comments: "Few companies in the world are able to produce off-axis paraboloids of sufficient quality to enable Petawatt lasers to focus their massive energy down onto targets only a few microns in size. Laser-plasma interactions under these conditions can produce energetic beams of electrons and protons as well as bright, coherent sources of X-rays enabling researchers to address fundamental questions in astrophysics and plasma physics." 

He adds: "In recent years we are honoured to have been selected by world-leading, high-power laser research groups including AWE, ELI, LULI and CLF Rutherford as well as a growing number of academic centres of excellence to provide key off-axis focusing mirrors and other related optics."

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