Source for Powerful Energetic Compact Thomson Radiation Experiments (SPECTRE)
SPECTRE is the future experimental area for utilizing the laser pulses delivered by by the PFS-pro laser to generate hard X-rays for biological and medical imaging purposes. It will make use of the Thomson scattering process between laser-driven electrones bunch and picosecond laser pulses at kHz repetiton rates. The original concept of PFS-pro was to use an optical parametric chirped pulse amplifier (OPCPA) to convert some of the energy of the picosecond pulses to few-cycle duration light pulses in order to drive strong plasma waves for electron acceleration. Due to the rather poor overall efficiency of the OPCPA process, the scalability of two new approaches are being considered:
a) direct compression of the PFS-pro pulses from ps to fs in a gas medium with high conversion efficiency
b) plasma-based conversion of ps pulses into a pulse train for resonant plasma wave excitation.
During this this testing phase, options for finalizing the SPECTRE experiment area will be considered and adapted to the outcome of the source develpment to ensure an optimum match.