U. Texas Two-Color Terawatt (UT3) Laser Laboratory

This state-of-the-art facility includes a 30 TW, 30 fs, 800 nm ultrahigh contrast Ti:Sapphire laser system manufactured by Thales Laser and installed in 2007, and a temporally synchronized 3 TW, 60 fs, 870 nm chirped pulse Raman Amplifier subsystem built in house. It is housed in a 1200 sq. ft. class 100,000 clean room in Robert Lee Moore (RLM) Hall 2.408 on the UT campus.

Photograph of the UT^3 laser system in RLM 2.408

Photograph of the UT3 laser system in RLM 2.408.

Description and Specifications of UT3 system


User Policy for the UT3 facility

  • TRAINING. Each user is responsible for familiarizing himself/herself with the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for UT3, and for arranging on-site training with Dr. Xiaoming Wang (xwang08@physics.utexas.edu) or Dr. Rafal Zgadzaj (rafal@physics.utexas.edu). The monthly Laser Maintenance periods are excellent opportunities for acquiring such training.

  • SAFETY. Each user is responsible for completing mandatory on-line laboratory safety modules available at the Environmental Health & Safety web site. UT3 users should complete OH-101 (Hazard Communication), OH-102 (Site-specific Training), OH-201 (Laboratory Safety), OH-202 (Hazardous Waste Management), OH-238 (Lab Safety Refresher) and OH-304 (Laser Safety). See Dr. Watson Henderson (watsonrh@utexas.edu) for OH-102, and for further details about safety requirements. Each user is responsible for familiarizing himself/herself with the laser goggles available in the RLM 2.408 gown room, and for wearing the appropriate goggles at all times during laser usage.

  • SCHEDULE. UT3 time is scheduled monthly by the Downer group. Time is generally allocated in 1 week Sunday-to-Saturday increments. Users requiring full system pulse energy (≥ 1 J) may request a 2-week slot that includes a flexible “laser maintenance” period of approximately 3 days duration. Users requiring only low pulse energy (≤ 100 mJ) will generally be co-scheduled in pairs. The Downer group welcomes inquiries about potential collaborations from outside investigators. Interested parties should contact Prof. Downer at

    downer email

  • Current UT3 schedule

  • PROPOSALS. All users must submit a brief (~ 1 page) mini-proposal describing the required laser specs, a research plan, and advances to be made over previous usage to Prof. Downer, Dr. Xiaoming Wang, and Dr. Rafal Zgadzaj at least 2 days prior to the start of the laser session (i.e. by COB Friday). Recent and current proposals are posted below. Less experienced users should also contact Xiaoming or Rafal for an on-site, in-person review of the week’s plans and procedures on the first day (and as needed on subsequent days) of usage.

    Chang-Welch Aug. 16-Sep. 05
  • LOG BOOK. Each user should make relevant entries in the UT3 system log book during his/her run describing system performance, problems encountered, corrective actions taken, and adjustments made.

  • TRANSFER. Each user is responsible for contacting and meeting in person with the next user on the day following completion of his/her run for the purpose of conveying information about the state of the laser system, location of tools and instruments, completing log book entries, and cleaning up.

  • REPORTS. Each user should be prepared to make brief oral presentations at weekly TW group meetings (i) on the week prior to usage, to summarize the proposal; (ii) during the week of usage, to summarize progress; (iii) on the week following usage, to summarize results. Users reporting on progress during their runs are welcome to leave group meetings after their reports.

  • LASER MAINTENANCE. Each user should contribute to the approximately monthly, 3-day laser maintenance period posted on the monthly schedule. Dr. Xiaoming Wang will post a memo below summarizing current maintenance issues. Please inform Dr. Wang of any UT3 issues that you encounter, and ask him how you can contribute to its maintenance. Users should also familiarize themselves with daily maintenance procedures for the machine room located in RLM 2.407, adjacent to the UT3 lab. This room houses laser power supplies, air handler, and water cooling for the equipment in the UT3 lab. Currently Dr. Watson Henderson performs this daily maintenance, but users should be prepared to assume this responsibility in Watson's absence.

  • August 28-30 laser maintenance
    Sep. 23-25 laser maintenance
    Jan. 07-13 laser maintenance