Spatial filters are essential components for maintaining high beam quality in high-energy pulsed laser systems. The long-duration (21 ns) high-energy pulses envisioned for future inertial-confinement fusion drive systems, such as the U.S. National Ignition Facility (NIF), are likely to lead to increased plasma generation and closure effects within the pinholes in the spatial filters. The design goal for the pinhole spatial filter for the NIF design is to remove small-angle scatter in the beam to as little as a ±100-μrad divergence. It is uncertain whether this design requirement can be met with a conventional pinhole design. We propose a new pinhole architecture that addresses these issues by incorporating features intended to reduce the rate of plasma generation. Initial experiments with this design have verified its performance improvement relative to a conventional pinhole design.
© 1998 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: April 11, 1997
Revised Manuscript: October 31, 1997
Published: April 20, 1998
Peter M. Celliers, Kent G. Estabrook, Russell J. Wallace, James E. Murray, Luiz B. Da Silva, Brian J. MacGowan, Bruno M. Van Wonterghem, and Kenneth R. Manes, "Spatial filter pinhole for high-energy pulsed lasers," Appl. Opt. 37, 2371-2378 (1998)