19 February 2021

'New world record' for UK-built laser technology

A laser developed at the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is said to have set a new world record.

HiLase building in Prague
The HiLASE Centre in Prague  © STFC

The new record for output of a high-power, high-repetition rate laser was set in a recent test of the Diode Pumped Optical Laser for Experiments (DiPOLE) 100 system.

The DiPOLE 100 system was delivered by the STFC's Central Laser Facility (CLF) team to the HiLASE Centre in Prague in 2016.

It was operated for an hour at 10 pulses per second with a pulse energy in excess of 145J. This is an increase of nearly 50% more than the system’s original specification.

By delivering this powerful pulse using the tried and tested DiPOLE system, scientists have shown that the technology will help experiments achieve better data, detecting weak signals against background noise.

This will be crucial for facilities like CLF’s new Extreme Photonics Applications Centre, intended to image materials and complex working structures at ultra-high contrast.