Ultrafast lasers have become an indispensable key component in a plethora of scientific, industrial and medical applications. At this, high pulse peak powers and high average powers enable new approaches in many ways, but, furthermore, they are very demanding to technology and involved materials. Especially when both maximum pulse peak power and maximum average power are required simultaneously with an additional optimum beam and pulse quality, diverse challenges and impairing effects occur. These can finally limit the achievable performance of the corresponding setup. Therefore, new technologies have to be developed in order to overcome these limits.
The PARALLAS project uses an effective and promising approach to further scale the performance of fiber laser systems. The underlying idea is a spatial parallelization of the amplification process by using multiple fiber amplifiers and an additional temporal separation of the involved pulses. Subsequent coherent combination then provides a combination of high peak powers and high average powers which is beyond the achievable performance of single-emitter fiber systems. The PARALLAS project aims at building an actively long-term stabilized femtosecond fiber laser system which provides an average power of >1kW with pulse energies of >10mJ and durations below 200fs. A further scaling of the pulse energy will be investigated. Here, average powers of 2kW and pulse energies in the region of 100mJ are pursued, which lies far above the possibilities of all currently known approaches. Another aim is to generate energetically CEP-stable few-cycle pulses with durations of <10fs by developing and investigating hollow-core compression.
The application ranges of a laser system with the pursued parameters are, for instance, the processing and cutting of glass or drilling and structuring of metals. Furthermore, they can be applied in fundamental research, as, for example, for the generation of EUV/XUV radiation and detecting and fighting tumors.
PARALLAS is a joint project between the Active Fiber Systems GmbH, which primarily concentrates on the stability and the construction of the laser system, and the Institute of Applied Physics, which mainly investigates the further power scalability.