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large potassium dihydrogen phosphate KDP crystal

This invention takes advantage of the high water-solubility of key NIF KDP crystal optics and uses water as an etchant to remove surface defects and improve the laser induced damage threshold. Since pure water etches KDP too fast, this invention is to disperse water as nanosized droplets in a water-in-oil micro-emulsion. While in a stable micro-emulsion form, the surfactant additives prevent…

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LLNL’s CO2 laser-based Optics Mitigation Facility adapted for controlled laser melting of glass optics.

This invention proposes to use laser induced melting/softening to locally reshape the form of a glass optic. The local glass densification that results induces predictable stresses that through plate deformation mechanics yield a deterministic methodology for arbitrarily reshaping an optic surface figure and wavefront without the need to remove material.

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Scanning electron micrograph of scalable, grating-like nanoscale metal mask (line period ~35 nm)

This invention consists of a method of forming nanoscale metal lines to produce a grating-like mask with wide area coverage over the surface of a durable optical material such as fused silica. Subsequent etching processes transfer the metal mask to the underlying substrate forming a birefringent metasurface. This method enables the production of ultrathin waveplates for high power laser…

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Scanning electron micrograph of bulk metamaterial structures fabricated at LLNL

Heat sensitive materials such as piezoelectric and MEMS devices and assemblies, magnetic sensors, nonlinear optical crystals, laser glass or solid-state laser materials, etc. cannot be exposed to excess temperatures which in the context of this invention, means materials that cannot be exposed to temperatures greater than 50°C (122°F). LLNL’s invention describes a low-temperature method of…

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HAPLS

LLNL researchers have developed a high average power Faraday rotator that is gas-cooled and uniquely designed to dissipate heat uniformly so that it does not build up in the optical component and affect its performance.  The Faraday rotator material is sliced into smaller disks like a loaf of bread so that high speed helium gas can flow between the slices.  With this highly efficient cooling…

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The High-Repetition-Rate Advanced Petawatt Laser System (HAPLS), the world’s most advanced and highest average power diode-pumped petawatt laser system, at LLNL.

This invention discloses a method to minimize transient variations in the wavelength- and/or pointing-behavior of an optic, without requiring a reduction in its thermal resistance, optical absorption, or operating irradiance. The invention employs a combination of a time-varying heat source and time-varying thermal resistance and/or heat sink temperature to achieve temperature stability of the…

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Linearly polarized light entering a half-wave plate can be resolved into two waves, parallel and perpendicular to the optic axis of the waveplate ("Waveplate" by Bob Mellish is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0).

This novel method of producing waveplates from isotropic optical materials (e.g. fused silica) consists of forming a void-dash metasurface using the following process steps:

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NIF Target Chamber

This invention concerns a new type of optic: a transient gas or plasma volume grating produced indirectly by small secondary lasers or directly by nonlinear processes using the primary beams themselves. When used in conjunction with advantageously placed shielding it offers a means of protecting the final optical components of a high-repetition-rate IFE facility. These transmission optics are…

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optical element

This invention utilizes transmission gratings to combine lasers of the same wavelength into a single collinear output. The transmission grating can be an all-bulk structure fabricated in fused silica, silicon, diamond, silicon nitride, etc. The transmission grating can also have dielectric coatings to increase diffraction efficiency and optical bandwidth. This invention makes possible…

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monolithic_telescope

Monolithic Telescopes are a novel implementation of a solid catadioptric design form, instantiated in a monolithic block of fused silica.

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gradient_composition_glass

LLNL researchers have developed a custom resin formulation which uses a dispersing solvent and only a multifunctional monomer as the binding agent. The dispersing solvent system typically used has multiple components meant to achieve excellent dispersal of silica in order to create a flowable resin (rather than a paste). The dispersing agent has low vapor pressure, which allows the 3D printed…

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Space-based Telescopes for Actionable Refinement of Ephemeris (STARE)

LLNL is developing the Space-based Telescopes for Actionable Refinement of Ephemeris (STARE). STARE is a constellation of low cost nano-satellites (less than 5Kg) in low-earth orbit dedicated to the observation of space debris in conjunction with a ground-based infrastructure for maintenance, coordination and data processing. Each nano-satellite in the constellation is capable of recording an…

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Hand polishing optics

LLNL's Slurry Stabilization Method provides a chemical means of stabilizing a polishing compound in suspension at working concentrations without reducing the rate of material removal. The treated product remains stable for many months in storage.