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Title: Self-aligning concave relativistic plasma mirror with adjustable focus

Abstract

We report an experimental-computational study of the optical properties of plasma mirrors (PMs) at the incident laser frequency when irradiated directly at relativistic intensity (10 180<10 19W/cm 2) by near-normally incident (4°), high-contrast, 30 fs, 800 nm laser pulses. We find that such relativistic PMs are highly reflective (0.6–0.8) and focus a significant fraction of reflected light to intensity as large as ~10I0 at distance f as small as ~25 μm from the PM, provided that pre-pulses do not exceed 10 14 W/cm 2 prior to ~20 ps before arrival of the main pulse peak. Particle-in-cell simulations show that focusing results from denting of the reflecting surface by light pressure combined with relativistic transparency and that reflectivity and f can be adjusted by controlling pre-plasma length L over the range 0.5 ≲L ≲ 3 μm. Pump-probe reflectivity measurements show that the PM's focusing properties evolve on a ps time scale.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [1];  [3];  [1];  [1]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Univ. of Texas, Austin, TX (United States). Physics Dept.
  2. Univ. of Texas, Austin, TX (United States). Inst. for Fusion Studies and Center for High Energy Density Science
  3. Univ. of Texas, Austin, TX (United States). Physics Dept. and Inst. for Fusion Studies
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of Texas, Austin, TX (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA); US Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR); Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
OSTI Identifier:
1361715
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1420500; OSTI ID: 1425378
Grant/Contract Number:
SC0012444; SC0011617; FA9550-14-1-0045; SC0007889; SC001062; 2; FC52-08NA28512; NA0002008; FG02-04ER54742; EP/G054940/1; EP/G055165/1; EP/G056803/1; AC05-06OR23100
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Published Article
Journal Name:
Physics of Plasmas
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 24; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 1070-664X
Publisher:
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; Scattering; Spectroscopy; Time resolved spectroscopy; Ionization; Reflectivity; Optical elements; Ultrafast spectroscopy; Chemical analysis; Time measurement; Optical metrology

Citation Formats

Tsai, Hai-En, Arefiev, Alexey V., Shaw, Joseph M., Stark, David J., Wang, Xiaoming, Zgadzaj, Rafal, and Downer, M. C.. Self-aligning concave relativistic plasma mirror with adjustable focus. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1063/1.4973432.
Tsai, Hai-En, Arefiev, Alexey V., Shaw, Joseph M., Stark, David J., Wang, Xiaoming, Zgadzaj, Rafal, & Downer, M. C.. Self-aligning concave relativistic plasma mirror with adjustable focus. United States. doi:10.1063/1.4973432.
Tsai, Hai-En, Arefiev, Alexey V., Shaw, Joseph M., Stark, David J., Wang, Xiaoming, Zgadzaj, Rafal, and Downer, M. C.. Wed . "Self-aligning concave relativistic plasma mirror with adjustable focus". United States. doi:10.1063/1.4973432.
@article{osti_1361715,
title = {Self-aligning concave relativistic plasma mirror with adjustable focus},
author = {Tsai, Hai-En and Arefiev, Alexey V. and Shaw, Joseph M. and Stark, David J. and Wang, Xiaoming and Zgadzaj, Rafal and Downer, M. C.},
abstractNote = {We report an experimental-computational study of the optical properties of plasma mirrors (PMs) at the incident laser frequency when irradiated directly at relativistic intensity (10180<1019W/cm2) by near-normally incident (4°), high-contrast, 30 fs, 800 nm laser pulses. We find that such relativistic PMs are highly reflective (0.6–0.8) and focus a significant fraction of reflected light to intensity as large as ~10I0 at distance f as small as ~25 μm from the PM, provided that pre-pulses do not exceed 1014 W/cm2 prior to ~20 ps before arrival of the main pulse peak. Particle-in-cell simulations show that focusing results from denting of the reflecting surface by light pressure combined with relativistic transparency and that reflectivity and f can be adjusted by controlling pre-plasma length L over the range 0.5 ≲L ≲ 3 μm. Pump-probe reflectivity measurements show that the PM's focusing properties evolve on a ps time scale.},
doi = {10.1063/1.4973432},
journal = {Physics of Plasmas},
number = 1,
volume = 24,
place = {United States},
year = {Wed Jan 04 00:00:00 EST 2017},
month = {Wed Jan 04 00:00:00 EST 2017}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record at 10.1063/1.4973432

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 1work
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  • Cited by 1
  • We report an experimental-computational study of the optical properties of plasma mirrors (PMs) at the incident laser frequency when irradiated directly at relativistic intensity (10 180<10 19W/cm 2) by near-normally incident (4°), high-contrast, 30 fs, 800 nm laser pulses. We find that such relativistic PMs are highly reflective (0.6–0.8) and focus a significant fraction of reflected light to intensity as large as ~10I0 at distance f as small as ~25 μm from the PM, provided that pre-pulses do not exceed 10 14 W/cm 2 prior to ~20 ps before arrival of the main pulse peak. Particle-in-cell simulations show that focusingmore » results from denting of the reflecting surface by light pressure combined with relativistic transparency and that reflectivity and f can be adjusted by controlling pre-plasma length L over the range 0.5 ≲L ≲ 3 μm. Pump-probe reflectivity measurements show that the PM's focusing properties evolve on a ps time scale.« less
  • In 1966, the Stevens Institute of Technology (SIT) plasma focus group demonstrated experimentally that the current sheath of the plasma focus is carried by pairs of plasma vortex filaments, which exhibit a force-free, Beltrami-type morphology. Experiments at SIT in 1980 and at the Air Force Weapons Laboratory (AFWL) show that relativistic electron beams traveling through a background gas of -- 1 Torr, and even in a ''vacuum'' diode, exhibit the same type of filamentary morphology, but on a spatial dimension scale, which extends down to the 1-..mu..m region. Some of the experimental evidence accumulated in work at AFWL from 1979,more » to 1981, which supports the statement that there is a close similarity between current-carrying morphologies of the plasma focus and the relativistic beam machines, is presented.« less
  • The laser focus accelerator with relativistic self-focusing for achieving Z-separated heavy ions of energies beyond 10 GeV was studied experimentally, in detailed numerical work and estimations on intense muon sources, heavy nuclear collisions and generation of new isotopes are on the way. The recently detected inverted double layers in the nonlinear (ponderomotive) force produced cavitons with 10/sup 9/ V/cm nearly static field can be used for electron acceleration. An upgraded present days Antares system with 20 phase-optimized steps should arrive at TeV electrons. The spontaneous high magnetic fields should produce highly directed non-Z-separated ion bunches where the E x Bmore » mechanism of Forslund and Brackbill with thermally created electric fields can be improved drastically by nonlinear force generated fields. Further studies were on acceleration by relativistic Doppler shift and by the transverse free electron laser.« less
  • Experimental results are presented which verify the possibility, formerly predicted, of the self-formation of a closed, spheromak-like magnetic configuration (SLMC) in a plasma focus discharge.