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Title: Inflation threshold: A nonlinear trapping-induced threshold for the rapid onset of stimulated Raman scattering from a single laser speckle

Abstract

The rapid onset, with increasing laser intensity, of levels of backward stimulated Raman scattering (BSRS) exceeding linear convective predictions, from single laser hot spots was predicted by simulations [Vu et al., Phys. Plasmas 9, 1745 (2002)], and has been observed [Montgomery et al., Phys. Plasmas 9, 2311 (2002)] in nonlinear regimes dominated by electron trapping. A theory for this inflation threshold is given here. The threshold is the result of competition between velocity diffusion and trapping, and is exceeded when the convectively amplified SRS Langmuir wave (LW) achieves an amplitude for which the coherent trapping velocity increment of electrons in the LW (the half-width of the trapping separatrix) exceeds the rms diffusion velocity (resulting from background plasma fluctuations), accumulated in one bounce time, for electrons with mean velocities near the phase velocity of the LW. The results of this theory, when the kinetic theory of the one-dimensional (1D) reduced-description particle-in-cell (RPIC) simulation is used, are in good agreement with a series of 1D RPIC simulations. The theory is naturally generalized to three dimensions, and is compatible with macroscopic laser interaction codes such as pF3d [Berger et al., Phys. Plasmas 5, 4337 (1998)]. Comparison of the LW trapping-induced inflation threshold tomore » the LW threshold for the Langmuir decay instability provides an estimate for the transition between nonlinear saturation regimes. In an independent hot spot model of many hot spots, statistics suggests that the inflation threshold intensity will control the rapid onset of strong BSRS in laser beams smoothed by random phase plates.« less

Authors:
; ;  [1];  [2]
  1. University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093 (United States)
  2. (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
20960107
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physics of Plasmas; Journal Volume: 14; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: DOI: 10.1063/1.2426918; (c) 2007 American Institute of Physics; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; AMPLITUDES; DECAY INSTABILITY; ELECTRONS; FLUCTUATIONS; HOT SPOTS; LASERS; NONLINEAR PROBLEMS; ONE-DIMENSIONAL CALCULATIONS; PHASE VELOCITY; PLASMA; PLASMA SIMULATION; RAMAN EFFECT; TRAPPING

Citation Formats

Vu, H. X., DuBois, D. F., Bezzerides, B., and Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico 87545. Inflation threshold: A nonlinear trapping-induced threshold for the rapid onset of stimulated Raman scattering from a single laser speckle. United States: N. p., 2007. Web. doi:10.1063/1.2426918.
Vu, H. X., DuBois, D. F., Bezzerides, B., & Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico 87545. Inflation threshold: A nonlinear trapping-induced threshold for the rapid onset of stimulated Raman scattering from a single laser speckle. United States. doi:10.1063/1.2426918.
Vu, H. X., DuBois, D. F., Bezzerides, B., and Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico 87545. Mon . "Inflation threshold: A nonlinear trapping-induced threshold for the rapid onset of stimulated Raman scattering from a single laser speckle". United States. doi:10.1063/1.2426918.
@article{osti_20960107,
title = {Inflation threshold: A nonlinear trapping-induced threshold for the rapid onset of stimulated Raman scattering from a single laser speckle},
author = {Vu, H. X. and DuBois, D. F. and Bezzerides, B. and Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico 87545},
abstractNote = {The rapid onset, with increasing laser intensity, of levels of backward stimulated Raman scattering (BSRS) exceeding linear convective predictions, from single laser hot spots was predicted by simulations [Vu et al., Phys. Plasmas 9, 1745 (2002)], and has been observed [Montgomery et al., Phys. Plasmas 9, 2311 (2002)] in nonlinear regimes dominated by electron trapping. A theory for this inflation threshold is given here. The threshold is the result of competition between velocity diffusion and trapping, and is exceeded when the convectively amplified SRS Langmuir wave (LW) achieves an amplitude for which the coherent trapping velocity increment of electrons in the LW (the half-width of the trapping separatrix) exceeds the rms diffusion velocity (resulting from background plasma fluctuations), accumulated in one bounce time, for electrons with mean velocities near the phase velocity of the LW. The results of this theory, when the kinetic theory of the one-dimensional (1D) reduced-description particle-in-cell (RPIC) simulation is used, are in good agreement with a series of 1D RPIC simulations. The theory is naturally generalized to three dimensions, and is compatible with macroscopic laser interaction codes such as pF3d [Berger et al., Phys. Plasmas 5, 4337 (1998)]. Comparison of the LW trapping-induced inflation threshold to the LW threshold for the Langmuir decay instability provides an estimate for the transition between nonlinear saturation regimes. In an independent hot spot model of many hot spots, statistics suggests that the inflation threshold intensity will control the rapid onset of strong BSRS in laser beams smoothed by random phase plates.},
doi = {10.1063/1.2426918},
journal = {Physics of Plasmas},
number = 1,
volume = 14,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon Jan 15 00:00:00 EST 2007},
month = {Mon Jan 15 00:00:00 EST 2007}
}
  • In inertial confinement fusion experiments, stimulated Raman scattering (SRS) occurs when electron density fluctuations are amplified resonantly by the incident laser beams and scattered light. These beams comprise several thousands of individual laser speckles. We have found in single-speckle studies that electron trapping lowers the threshold intensity for SRS onset to a value below that from linear theory and enhances scattering. The trapping-induced plasma-wave frequency shift leads to wave-front bowing and filamentation processes that saturate SRS and limit scattering within a speckle. With large-scale simulations, we have now examined how laser speckles interact with one another through three-dimensional (3D) particle-in-cellmore » (PIC) simulations of two interacting speckles and 2D PIC simulations of ensembles of laser speckles (hundreds of speckles). Our work shows that kinetic trapping physics also governs the onset and saturation of SRS in ensembles of speckles. Speckles interact in a manner that is nonlinear and nonlocal: An intense speckle can destabilize its neighbors through transport of hot electrons and SRS waves, resulting in enhanced emission of particles and waves that, in turn, act upon the original speckle. In this manner, speckles below threshold when in isolation can be above the threshold in multi-speckled beams under conditions for laser-driven fusion experiments at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) and ensembles of speckles are thus found to collectively lower the SRS onset threshold. Simulations of the hohlraum interior where laser beams overlap show that multi-speckled laser beams at low average intensity (a few times 10{sup 14} W/cm{sup 2}) have correspondingly lower thresholds for enhanced SRS and that the sub-ps bursts of SRS saturate through trapping induced nonlinearities. Because of electron trapping effects, SRS reflectivity grows slowly with average laser intensity. While SRS reflectivity saturates under NIF conditions, SRS hot electron energy increases with increasing laser intensity and may contribute to capsule preheat.« less
  • A suite of three-dimensional (3D) VPIC[K. J. Bowers et al., Phys. Plasmas 15, 055703 (2008)] particle-in-cell simulations of backward stimulated Raman scattering (SRS) in inertial confinement fusion hohlraum plasma has been performed on the heterogeneous multicore supercomputer, Roadrunner, presently the world's most powerful supercomputer. These calculations reveal the complex nonlinear behavior of SRS and point to a new era of 'at scale' 3D modeling of SRS in solitary and multiple laser speckles. The physics governing nonlinear saturation of SRS in a laser speckle in 3D is consistent with that of prior two-dimensional (2D) studies [L. Yin et al., Phys. Rev.more » Lett. 99, 265004 (2007)], but with important differences arising from enhanced diffraction and side loss in 3D compared with 2D. In addition to wave front bowing of electron plasma waves (EPWs) due to trapped electron nonlinear frequency shift and amplitude-dependent damping, we find for the first time that EPW self-focusing, which evolved from trapped particle modulational instability [H. A. Rose and L. Yin, Phys. Plasmas 15, 042311 (2008)], also exhibits loss of angular coherence by formation of a filament necklace, a process not available in 2D. These processes in 2D and 3D increase the side-loss rate of trapped electrons, increase wave damping, decrease source coherence for backscattered light, and fundamentally limit how much backscatter can occur from a laser speckle. For both SRS onset and saturation, the nonlinear trapping induced physics is not captured in linear gain modeling of SRS. A simple metric is described for using single-speckle reflectivities obtained from VPIC simulations to infer the total reflectivity from the population of laser speckles of amplitude sufficient for significant trapping-induced nonlinearity to arise.« less
  • Simulations are reported of the Thomson scatter spectrum of electrostatic waves (ESWs) excited in single laser hot spots by backward stimulated Raman scattering (BSRS). Under conditions similar those in the recent experiments of Kline et al. [Phys. Rev. Lett. 94, 175003 (2005)], a spectral streak, resulting from the trapping-induced frequency shift of the ESW, is found for high wave-number ESWs, similar to the observations. This shift and parametric frequency matching lead to isolated BSRS pulses. Modes with acoustic dispersion, resulting from the trapping-modified electron velocity distribution, can enhance the frequency range of the streak.
  • The origin of the low level of stimulated Brillouin scattering (SBS) observed in laser-plasma experiments carried out with a single laser speckle is investigated by means of three-dimensional simulations and modeling in the limit when the laser beam power P is well above the critical power for ponderomotive self-focusing We find that the order of magnitude of the time averaged reflectivities, together with the temporal and spatial SBS localization observed in our simulations, are correctly reproduced by our modeling. It is observed that, after a short transient stage, SBS reaches a significant level only (i) as long as the incidentmore » laser pulse is increasing in amplitude and (ii) in a single self-focused speckle located in the low-density front part of the plasma. In order to describe self-focusing in an inhomogeneous expanding plasma, we have derived a new Lagrangian density describing this process. Using then a variational approach, our model reproduces the position and the peak intensity of the self-focusing hot spot in the front part of the plasma density profile as well as the local density depletion in this hot spot. The knowledge of these parameters then makes it possible to estimate the spatial amplification of SBS as a function of the laser beam power and consequently to explain the experimentally observed SBS reflectivity, considerably reduced with respect to standard theory in the regime of large laser beam power.« less
  • We show that the measured stimulated Raman scattering (SRS) in a large-scale high-temperature plasma scales strongly with the plasma density, increasing by an order of magnitude when the electron density is increased by 20%. This is consistent with linear theory, including pump depletion, in a uniform plasma and, as the density is typically constrained by other processes, this effect will set a limit on drive laser beam intensity for forthcoming ignition experiments at the National Ignition Facility. Control of SRS at laser intensities consistent with 285 eV ignition hohlraums is achieved by using polarization smoothing which increases the intensity thresholdmore » for the onset of SRS by 1.6+-0.2. These results were quantitatively predicted by full beam three-dimensional numerical laser-plasma interaction simulations.« less