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Iodine Lasers


Development of technical proposal to create multichannel iodine laser, generating 5 MTAI the third harmonic frequency and experimental investigations of the "Risk Reduction Programs" (IGNIS Project).

Tech Area / Field

  • PHY-OPL/Optics and Lasers/Physics

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
VNIIEF, Russia, N. Novgorod reg., Sarov


  • Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, USA, CA, Livermore\nLawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, USA, CA, Berkeley

Project summary

Nowadays experts, involved in the issues of inertial confinement fusion (ICF), face the problem to reach the target ignition. With this aim in USA neodymium laser facility "NIF" is developed, generating energy of 1,5 or 2 MJ with a wave length of 0,35 mm. Calculation of required output parameters is based on theoretical estimations and on data approximation, obtained with less energy levels. That is why it is of great interest to check experimentally the feasibility to obtain ignition with the given energy, using more cheap facilities, e.g. high-power iodine laser.

The goal of the project is development of technical proposal of multichannel iodine laser with shock wave radiation pumping, capable to generate output energy of 5 MJ at third harmonics frequency (0,44 mm), and also carrying out of investigations on the "risk reduction" programs to master crucially important elements of the laser.

Iodine lasers are used in ICF studies in Germany ("Asterisk" facility), in Czechia ("Perun" facility), in Russia (Iskra-4, Iskra-5 facilities). These lasers as well as existing neodymium lasers (USA, "Nova" facility) use for pumping purposes electrical energy, stored in capacitor banks (specific stored energy is 0,1-1 J/g). We propose to develop and give experimental proof of the laser project, in which chemical kinetic energy stored in high explosive (specific stored energy is ~ 4000 J/g) converts into pump radiation. Application of such energy source enables to refuse from expensive capacitor banks and to create cheap, reliable and small pump sources, having practically unlimited stored energy.

Iodine lasers with shock wave light pumping from high explosive are widely investigated at VNIIEF. Using such lasers radiation energy has been obtained up to 200 kJ per pulse and laser with phase conjugation mirror has been created, having radiation energy in one beam up to 10 kJ, in a pulse of 3 ns duration. The peculiarity of iodine lasers with shock wave radiation pumping is high specific energy stored in active medium, low cost, reliability and possibility of quick assembly.

It is supposed, that multichannel iodine laser creation and conduction of experiments start before "NIF" facility construction; this will enable to make some changes in design and structural decisions if necessary.

Investigations on "risk reduction" programs (e.g. determination of stored energy of laser channels, shaped pulse forming, optimization of frequency converter and etc.) will enable to give experimental proof of the technical proposal.

Scientific importance of the project is to obtain new results in the field of shock wave radiation and alkyliodides photodissociation, to create new schemes phase conjugation and laser frequency multiplication, to develop theoretical models of radiation and target interaction at high energies.

The project will enable to turn the efforts of scientists and experts from military problems to the problems of fundamental science.


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