Real-time metrology of micro-targets for high power laser systems operating at high repetition rates
Start: December 2015
Student: Shah Karim
Supervisors: Richard Leach, Samanta Piano, Martin Tolley (Rutherford Appleton Laboratory)
Funding: STFC, Ultraprecision CDT
Microtargets irradiated by high power/energy lasers enable experimental study of a wide range of objects and materials under extreme conditions for example ion production for potential future oncology techniques, laboratory astrophysics and ‘inertial fusion energy’. The targets need to be fabricated and measured to ultrahigh precision. Targets also need to be delivered to the target chamber with high accuracy. To fully realise the potential of future high repetition rate laser systems, real-time metrology will be required at matching rates.
This PhD will initially examine a broad range of microtarget designs and repetition rates, focussing on defining key parameters. After down-selection of specific exemplar types, metrology techniques will be developed for real time control of continuous delivery processes. Extrapolating from current research, it is envisioned that microtarget delivery systems for future high repetition rate lasers will deploy several fabrication technologies for example, MEMS, pressing and microfluidics.The research will integrate with the high power laser experimental programme of the Central Laser Facility at the STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory.
Application of high-repetition high power laser system (conceptual view of a typical power plant with separated target factory, laser driver, fusion chamber and turbine generator). Source: https://str.llnl.gov/
Microtargets (a) 2D and 3D shapes (b) Surface characterisation (roughness measurement). Source: Scitech, CLF