PULSAR, the Prairie Ultrafast Light Source for Attosecond Research, along with HITS, are true state of the art ultrafast lasers. The high repetition rate of PULSAR enables experiments that would be impractical with lesser laser systems. The construction of the system was partially financed by Kansas State University, by the National Science Foundation under a Major Research Instrumentation grant, and by the US Department of Energy.
At present, the laser system provides extremely short pulses, as short as 5 femtoseconds (1 fs=10-15 seconds). That pulse duration is comparable to the period of the fastest molecular oscillations. The focused laser intensity can reach 1016 Watts/cm2, where the electric field of the light is equivalent to the Coulomb field experienced by the electron in a hydrogen atom.
The specifications of PULSAR are as follows:
- Repetition rate: 10 kHz (or 20 kHz with half the energy / pulse)
- Center wavelength: 785 nm
- Pulse duration: < 21 fs amplifier output, < 5 fs after hollow-core fiber and compression
- Pulse energy (at 10 kHz): 2 mJ at < 21 fs, ca. 800 ??J at < 5 fs
- Carrier envelope phase stability: < 300mrad for several hours