The High Repetition Rate (HRR) laser is a Spectra Physics system able to emit pulses with a maximum energy of 7 mJ and a high repetition rate of 1kHz. It is a femtosecond commercial equipment, a Spitfire, that delivers pulses at a central wavelength of 800 nanometres (in the near infrared part of the spectrum, just outside the region visible to the human eye). It is a CPA laser system based on CPA (chirped-pulse-amplification) technique.

This auxiliary equipment, that shows an excellent laser beam quality and shot-to-shot stability, feeds two laboratories: the Material Microprocessing lab and the Soft X-ray lab. The HRR laser beam is splitter in four secondary beams, reaching different experimental setups: three belongs to the Microprocessing lab and the other one to the X-ray lab (for more information see ‘Technical Features’).

The features of this laser system are optima for the study of the interaction of ultrashort pulses with solid targets and for its application to materials processing. Due to the short temporal duration of the pulse it is possible to remove sub-micrometric layers of material with minimal thermal effects that occur at a longer temporal scale: this process of selective material elimination is the so-called ultrafast laser ablation. Moreover, this kind of ultrashort laser allows the localized and controlled change of some properties of the material (refractive index, reflectivity...) both in the surface as in depth of transparent materials.

This HRR system is also used as seed beam for a Soft-X-ray source from a laser driven plasma accelerator at an experimental setup unique in Spain. In summary, the high repetition rate femtosecond laser system, and the two laboratories will be ready for users in the CLPU.