OSE Seminar by Dr. Patrick Rambo on Laser Development at Sandia’s Z-Backlighter Facility

Departmental News

OSE logo

Posted: January 21, 2020

Date: Thursday, January 23, 2020 

Time:  11:00 AM to Noon

Location:  PAIS, Room 2540

Map to PAIS:

Room 2540 is located on the second floor.  Go up the center steps and turn left. Go to the end of the hall and Room 2540 is located on the left. 

ADA Accommodations are available. Please contact Doris Williams at dorisw@chtm.unm.edu.


Dr. Patrick Rambo

Sandia National Laboratories


The Z-Backlighter Laser Facility at Sandia National Laboratories serves to support high energy density physics research in conjunction with Sandia’s Z-Accelerator. Within the Z-Backlighter Facility, the main lasers include the multi-kiloJoule nanosecondscale 527nm Z-Beamlet Laser (ZBL) system and the kilojoule-class picosecond-scale 1054nm Z-Petawatt (ZPW) system.The ZBL system has been utilized since its activation in 2001, with its core missions being laser-generated x-ray radiographic diagnostics on a variety of Z experimental platforms and fuel pre-heating in Magnetized Liner Inertial Fusion (MagLIF) experiments. By comparison, the ZPW Laser was activated in 2007 for advanced high energy density physics research with a focus on higher photon energy lasergenerated x-ray radiography. More recently, ZPW has been upgraded for increased energy and modified to flexibly operate either in its traditional broadband picosecond (0.5-100ps) mode via chirped pulse amplification (CPA) or in a narrowband nanosecond (1-3ns) mode bypassing the CPA. In addition to a facility overview, the presentation will address some of the optical challenges and solutions that have been developed as the laser system has evolved, including temporal and spatial control methods.

Sandia National Laboratories is a multi-mission laboratory managed and operated by National Technology & Engineering Solutions of Sandia, LLC, a subsidiary of Honeywell International, Inc., for the U.S Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration under contract DE-NA0003525.


Dr. Patrick Rambo received his bachelor’s degree in Applied Physics from Rice University in 1993 and his PhD in Optical Science from the University of New Mexico in 2000, with his thesis being titled “Laser-Induced Lightning”. Since 2000, he has been at Sandia National Laboratories working mostly at the Z-Backlighter Laser Facility. He was part of the teams there which activated the kilojouleclass Z-Beamlet laser for radiography and which developed the Z-Petawatt Laser system. In 2018, he became a distinguished member of the technical staff at Sandia.