LLNL houses the world's most powerful laser at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) for management of the nuclear stockpile. The world's foremost optics and photonics engineers are assembled here for research, design, building, operation, and testing, and uncharted territory is explored daily. The NIF program is exploited by many applications in our scientific program portfolio.
We develop instruments for measuring ultrafast events (1-trillionth to 1-billionth of a second).
Our photonics employ hybrid electronic and photonic systems at high signal-to-noise ratio and dynamic range systems.
Technologies for controlling the spatial and temporal profile of optical images and waveforms are in continuous development.
We research instrumentation for multidimensional imaging of rapid events.
Some of our current projects we are working on include:
Solid-State Streak Camera
LLNL's new solid-state streak camera replaces electron-tube technology. Designed to operate in the x-ray range from 1keV to 30keV, temporal resolution compares with existing electron-tube systems.
High-Contrast Temporal Optical Pulse Shaping
To accurately shape high-contrast optical pulses, our technique uses nonlinear optoelectronics to enhance amplitude resolution for very low signals. This is impossible with traditional methods.
Gated CMOS Images
In collaboration with Sandia National Laboratory, LLNL engineers developed an ultra-fast gated 2D CMOS imager system to allow unprecedented access to direct line-of-sight 2D imaging on the NIF.
Fifth Harmonic Generation
We developed the capability to operate a 50-mm CLBO nonlinear crystal that allows an optical Thomson-scattering diagnostic to operate in the VUV range of 150 nm. This requires the nonlinear crystal for operating at temperatures above 120oC.
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