Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Compressor Alignment Procedure

I concentrated on the pulse compressor these days. Several motors were used to control two big 1200 line/mm gratings. The motors were controlled by Aerotech UNIDEX 511 motion controller. The computer interface program was written in LabView. It's easy to change the grating reflected angles and distances by rotating a hand wheel. The alignment procedure is:

1). Steering the mirrors to center the beam in the grating G1.
2). Set G1 to 0 degree to check the retro reflection.
3). Set G1 to Littrow angle (28.76 in our case) by adjusting the rock.
4). Change G1 to 13.358 for deviation.
5). Set G2 angle 26.716 for 0 degree back reflection checking.
6). Set G2 angle 55.48 for Littrow checking.
7). Set G1 and G2 both 13.358 degree.

related link: UNIDEX 511

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Far-field distribution of the seed beam after 3rd ampfilfier

After checking the mirrors and cleaning the dirty ones, we measured the beam profile again. By changing the distance between convex lens and CCD camera, we can measure the far-field distribution of the seed beam. We believed the beam was still good after passing the third amplifier and many reflected mirrors.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Measuring the seed beam profile after 3rd amplifier

We measured the seed beam profile after third amplifier, the CCD camera was put behind the convex mirror of the telescope.

Because the camera was closed to the mirror, we measured the intensity distribution. From the picture shown in the right, we found there were some dust or damaged parts. We should check the optical path and optical components to find what caused this ugly beam profile.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

YAG #4 beam alignment

Before running the third amplifier, it's necessary to check pump laser beam qualities of YAG #3 and YAG #4. We found the some beam delivering mirrors for YAG #4 had been burned. Two mirrors were replaced by the new ones, the other two mirrors were just carefully rotated to avoid beam hit the small burned dots.

It's so excited that the spectrometer can be controlled by the desktop.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Beam profile before the third amplifier

After cleaning the delivering mirrors one by one, we measured the beam profile before inputing the third amplifier. This time, the beam looked similar to the Gaussian shape perfectly.

Femtosecond time-delay X-ray holography

Researchers have used the ultrafast X-ray pulses from a free-electron laser to image a nanoscale object in just a femtosecond. The technique, which is a new form of X-ray holography, has been pioneered by Henry Chapman from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and colleagues in the US, Switzerland and Germany. Being able to study materials so fast brings us one step closer to the holy grail of observing, at the same time, how all the atoms in a molecule move (Nature 448 676).

The incident FEL pulse from the left passes through a hole in a multilayer-coated detector mirror. The 'dusty mirror' consists of particles on a 20-nm-thick silicon nitride membrane backed by a multilayer-coated plane mirror. This returns the direct beam back through the hole in the detector mirror, which reflects the diffracted light onto a CCD detector. The prompt diffraction (blue, the reference wave) and delayed diffraction (red, the object wave) interfere to generate the hologram on the CCD detector.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Realigning the laser pulse stretcher

It's very hard to increase the output energy from the second amplifier, even optimizing the cavity more carefully. The problem might come from the front end, we traced the beam and found it's very weak after the stretcher. So it took time to realign the laser path and made the dim laser dot became very bright.

The first amplifier output energy without the saturater was around 5 mV (normally ~4 mV), it's about more than 2 mV with the saturater (normally ~1 mV). The output from second amplifier reached about 400 mV. The beam was delivered into the spatial filter and measured the profile using the CCD camera. The diffraction pattern indicated there was a dust or damage on some mirror surface.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Spectrum from laser osillator

A loptop was used to replace the old desktop. In the beginning the spectrometer S2000-USB could not be recognized by the laptop. Somebody suggested to try another USB port, then the signal was appeared on the screen. This indicated the laptop remembered the original port connecting the hardware.

The snapshot of the spectra is shown on the right, the blue color line is reference spectrum, the red one is the real-time spectrum.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

The Control Computer Out of Order

I planed to run the whole system today, unfortunately I found the computer controlling the Ocean Optics S2000 spectrometer was down in the morning. I tried to restart the computer many times, it's no response. Because this spectrometer is used to monitor the laser spectrum, which can show if mode-locking status. The control computer must be repaired as soon as possible. The connection adapter is ADC1000-USB(S/N ADUD5565), the software is OOIBASE32.

The computer power supply was totally dead, I tried another computer. However it's not easy to run OOIBEASE32 in the new computer. I tried a laptop which the software has been install, but it cannot recognize the hardware.