nhelix - nhelix is the Nanosecond High Energy Laser for Ion beam eXperiments

Technical contact: Abel Blazevic

Technical data of the nhelix laser system

Operating wavelength

1064 nm

Pulse length

4 - 15 ns oder 500 ps

Max. output energy

100 J oder 10 J

Max. output power

10 GW


CONTINUUM Powerlite, Precision 8000, GEOLA G-Mini-GSI

Oscillator concept

Q-switch (Pockels cell) injection seeded

No. of amplifiers

6 (Nd:glass )

Size of amplifiers [mm]

16, 25, 32, 45, 45, 64

No. of Spatial Filters


No. of Faraday rotators


Side view of the nanosecond front end (Powerlight 800, Continuum) and the injection into the amplification beam line. The oscillator is generating pulses with an energy of approximately 150 mJ and a pulse duration of 15 ns (FWHM). A Pockels cell downstreams allows to shaping the pulse to pulse lengths between 4 and 15 ns with a defined rising/falling edge of 3 ns. The pulse frequency for a thermaly stable operation of the oscillator is 10 Hz.

Injection of the two laser beams (Powerlight 4-15 ns, Geola 0.5 ns) into the amplification beam including beam shaping elements and the pockels cell.

View of the optical table containing the double/triple pass amplifiers, spatial filters and laser beam diagnostics.

Top view into the target chamber. The target is placed in the middle of the chamber (bright spot). It can be irradiated by the PHELIX laser (from the top) and/or the nhelix laser (over the mirors from top or down) to heat it to a plasma as well as by a diagnostic beam for laser interferomerty. At the same time, a heavy ion beam (from bottom) can penetrate the target plasma to probe the interaction mechanisms.