Development and applications of compact high-intensity lasers

G. Mourou, D. Umstadter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

197 Scopus citations


The development of compact high-intensity lasers, made possible by the technique of chirped pulse amplification, is reviewed. This includes the complexities of high-power laser implementation, such as the generation of short pulses, pulse cleaning, wide-bandwidth amplification, temporal stretching and compression, and the requirements for high-average powers. Details of specific solid-state laser systems are given. Some applications of these lasers to short-pulse coherent short-wavelength [x-ray ultraviolet (XUV)] sources are also reviewed. This includes several nonlinear effects observed by focusing a subpicosecond laser into a gas; namely, an anomalous scaling of harmonic generation in atomic media, an upper limit on the conversion efficiency of relativistic harmonics in a plasma, and the observation of short-pulse self-focusing and multifoci formation. Finally, the effects of large ponderomotive pressures (100 Mbars) in short-pulse high-intensity laser-plasma interactions are discussed, with relevance both to recombination x-ray lasers and a novel method of igniting thermonuclear fusion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2315-2325
Number of pages11
JournalPhysics of Fluids B
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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