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The mercury laser is a high-average-power laser system being developed as a prototype for systems to drive inertial confinement fusion. Like the National Ignition Facility, it is intended to produce narrow pulses of extremely high power, using diode-pumped solid-state lasers. Unlike the NIF system, the mercury laser aims to achieve a high repetition rate: its goals are 10 pulses per second, each delivering 100 J with a 10% efficient conversion of electricity to laser light.
The active gain medium is Yb:SFAP (Ytterbium-doped Sr5(PO4)3), which is cooled by fast-flowing helium to allow high repetition rates. Infrared light at 900 nm from 8 arrays of laser diodes pumps the laser.
- Mercury-vapor lamp, a gas discharge lamp that uses the element mercury in an excited state to produce light