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Cycle GmbH synchronizes the most ambitious PW laser project

Date Announced: 18 Dec 2019

Hamburg, Germany -- Cycle GmbH and Shanghai Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics (SIOM) have signed a contract for the optical timing distribution system of the 100 PW Laser for the Station of Extreme Light (SEL), which will be part of Shanghai High Repetition Rate X-Ray Free Electron Laser (XFEL) and Extreme Light Facility (SHINE).

Pairing the hard XFEL and the world-leading 100 PW laser in SEL will enable exploration of effects such as vacuum birefringence, one of the most prominent strong-field quantum electrodynamic effects, acceleration mechanisms leading to ultra-high energy cosmic rays, simulation of black hole physics, and generation of new forms of matter.

The parameters of SEL are well beyond other existing PW lasers. The coherent x-ray energy from SHINE is in the area of 3 to 15 keV (hard x-rays) produced from the superconducting XFEL. The photon count per pulse of this XFEL is 1012. Its pulse focus-ability is 200 nm with an energy resolution of 0.6 eV. X-ray intensity at focus is as high as 1021 W/cm2.

The 100 PW laser for optical photons will reach a peak power of 100 PW and the intensity in the focus is as high as 1023 W/cm2. If the focusing can be further improved, even 1025 W/cm2 could be possible. At the same time, it could deliver optical pulses at a repetition rate of 1Hz with a power of 1 PW.


These parameters of these systems are already thrilling. But the combination of both has an even bigger potential for future scientific exploration. To achieve such parameters, an extremely precise synchronization of the PW Laser to the XFEL is necessary.

Cycle’s PULSE Timing Distribution System fits nicely the bill and became the system of choice at SIOM. It combines industrial turn-key convenience with unprecedented performance: sub-femtosecond timing jitter and long-term stability of the fiber links as well as single digit femtosecond stability of slave laser synchronization.

The PULSE Timing Distribution System will synchronize the seed laser of the PW system to the XFEL as well as correct drifts in the amplifier stages. To achieve this task, the newly released low repetition-rate Two Color Balanced Optical Cross-Correlator (TCBOC) fits the bill, which is able to resolve timing measurements down to the single-shot level.

SIOM’s new timing distribution system is the second such system in a short timeframe, where Cycle’s ultra-precise timing solutions will support ambitious scientific research. Just some weeks ago in November, Cycle delivered its PULSE timing distribution system to the world’s brightest X-Ray laser.


Cycle GmbH
Notkestr. 85
22607 Hamburg
Phone: +49 40 899 889 120

E-mail: contact@cyclelasers.com

Web Site: www.cyclelasers.com

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