We have developed a three-stage CO<sub>2</sub> master-oscillator–amplifier system that produces 1.1 TW of peak power. The system generates 170 J of energy in a diffraction-limited 160±10ps pulse on the 10P(20) line. We also report the realization of a two-wavelength terawatt-peak-power CO<sub>2</sub> laser that can be tuned to an arbitrary pair of lines. A two-stage semiconductor switching system driven by a picosecond-pulse Nd:YAG laser was used to slice a short, low-power 10.6-μm pulse for amplification. A simple plasma shutter helped to compensate for gain narrowing in a final three-pass amplifier and to shorten the pulse.
© 1999 Optical Society of America
(140.3280) Lasers and laser optics : Laser amplifiers
(140.3440) Lasers and laser optics : Laser-induced breakdown
(140.3470) Lasers and laser optics : Lasers, carbon dioxide
(190.7220) Nonlinear optics : Upconversion
S. Ya. Tochitsky, R. Narang, C. Filip, C. E. Clayton, K. A. Marsh, and C. Joshi, "Generation of 160-ps terawatt-power CO2 laser pulses," Opt. Lett. 24, 1717-1719 (1999)