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Lithuania Introduces SYLOS 3 – A High-Capacity Laser System

Lithuania Introduces SYLOS 3 – A High-Capacity Laser System

Two Lithuanian laser companies, Ekspla and Light Conversion, have collaborated in a consortium to unveil SYLOS 3 (SYLOS – Single Cycle Laser), a cutting-edge laser system, to the world. This system has successfully completed testing and was installed at the ELI-ALPS research institute in Szeged, Hungary. SYLOS 3, unique in the world due to its exceptional parameters, is now accessible to the global scientific community. Its outstanding feature lies in delivering 15 TW of peak power at a 1 kHz repetition rate and an 8 fs pulse duration. The kilohertz repetition rate enables researchers to collect significantly more data in the same period of time and, thus, enhance the efficiency of experiments.

The whole project, from the beginning to the final acceptance protocol, took almost 3 years and is estimated to cost approximately 6 million euros. Compared to the SYLOS 2A system (4.5 TW, 6.3 fs, 1 kHz) already operating at ELI-ALPS, the new system will provide more than three times higher peak and average power.

To ensure reliability and cutting-edge parameters, the system has been built from scratch by employing industry-tested technologies and components. All design and manufacturing activities have been carried out in facilities in Vilnius. Thus, despite its complexity, the system ensures exceptional stability and reliability. SYLOS 3 delivers approximately 120 mJ pulses with a CEP (Carrier-Envelope Phase) stability of less than 250 mrad and pulse energy stability of less than 1%.

Unlike other TW-level systems available in the market that operate in a single-shot or low repetition rate mode, SYLOS 3 will run at a 1 kHz repetition rate. With this novel approach, researchers will be able to collect significantly more data and transition from fundamental to applied science experiments. Such systems enable the development of promising future technologies, such as laser-based particle accelerators.

“We will employ the ELI-ALPS laser system in a wide range of experiments, such as generating coherent X-ray radiation through gas, electron acceleration, and surface higher-order harmonic generation,” says Adam Börzsönyi, Head of the Laser Sources Division at ELI-ALPS. According to him, the generation of isolated attosecond pulses for attosecond metrology is another important application. These kinds of experiments demand high stability of operation with high uptime, so the stability and precision of the whole system were one of the top priorities.

“We are proud to have a partner like ELI-ALPS. Our 9-year partnership with ELI-ALPS has helped us learn a lot about high-intensity pulses,” mentioned Aldas Juronis, CEO of EKSPLA. “Due to the exceptionally large XUV/X-ray energy, this system opens the door to nonlinear XUV and X-ray science, as well as 4D imaging and industrial, biological, and medical applications. In this way, we are equipping researchers with the proper tools to make breakthroughs for a better future,” adds Juronis.

“The SYLOS 3 laser system is based on OPCPA (Optical Parametric Chirped-Pulse Amplification) technology,” said Dr Martynas Barkauskas, CEO of Light Conversion. “Introduced at Vilnius University, OPCPA today is one of the key technologies for generating high-intensity radiation, surpassing conventional femtosecond technology based on Ti:Sapphire lasers in terms of pumping efficiency, contrast, bandwidth, and, consequently, the degree of control over the generated radiation, ” highlights Barkauskas.

Currently, successful experiments are being conducted at the ELI-ALPS research institute using laser systems created by the two Lithuanian manufacturers: SYLOS 2A (manufactured by Ekspla and Light Conversion) and SYLOS Alignment (Ekspla). The new SYLOS 3 is the third system installed at this center and is already three times more powerful than the other systems from Lithuanian manufacturers.

The laser industry and the talents within it are propelling Lithuania onto the global stage. Lithuanian-made lasers are utilized by NASA, CERN, IBM, “Hitachi,” “Toyota,” “Mitsubishi,” and as many as 95 out of the world’s top 100 universities. Today, Lithuania exports lasers and laser technologies to more than 80 countries.