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Title: Self-guiding of 100 TW femtosecond laser pulses in centimeter-scale underdense plasma

Abstract

An experiment for studying laser self-guiding has been carried out for the high power ultrashort pulse laser interaction with an underdense plasma slab. Formation of an extremely long plasma channel and its bending are observed when the laser pulse power is much higher than the critical power for relativistic self-focusing. The long self-guiding channel formation is accompanied by electron acceleration with a low transverse emittance and high electric current. Particle-in-cell simulations show that laser bending occurs when the accelerated electrons overtake the laser pulse and modify the refractive index in the region in front of the laser pulse.

Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;  [1] more »;  [2];  [2] « less
  1. Kansai Photon Science Institute, Japan Atomic Energy Agency, Kyoto 619-0215 (Japan)
  2. (China)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
20974909
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physics of Plasmas; Journal Volume: 14; Journal Issue: 4; Other Information: DOI: 10.1063/1.2720374; (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; ACCELERATION; ELECTRIC CURRENTS; ELECTRONS; FOCUSING; INTERACTIONS; LASERS; LIGHT TRANSMISSION; PLASMA; PLASMA SIMULATION; PULSES; REFRACTIVE INDEX; RELATIVISTIC RANGE

Citation Formats

Chen, L. M., Kotaki, H., Nakajima, K., Koga, J., Bulanov, S. V., Tajima, T., Gu, Y. Q., Peng, H. S., Wang, X. X., Wen, T. S., Liu, H. J., Jiao, C. Y., Zhang, C. G., Huang, X. J., Guo, Y., Zhou, K. N., Hua, J. F., An, W. M., Tang, C. X., Lin, Y. Z., Laser Fusion Research Center, China Academy of Engineering Physics, Sichuan 621900, and Accelerator Laboratory of Tsinghua University, Beijing 100080. Self-guiding of 100 TW femtosecond laser pulses in centimeter-scale underdense plasma. United States: N. p., 2007. Web. doi:10.1063/1.2720374.
Chen, L. M., Kotaki, H., Nakajima, K., Koga, J., Bulanov, S. V., Tajima, T., Gu, Y. Q., Peng, H. S., Wang, X. X., Wen, T. S., Liu, H. J., Jiao, C. Y., Zhang, C. G., Huang, X. J., Guo, Y., Zhou, K. N., Hua, J. F., An, W. M., Tang, C. X., Lin, Y. Z., Laser Fusion Research Center, China Academy of Engineering Physics, Sichuan 621900, & Accelerator Laboratory of Tsinghua University, Beijing 100080. Self-guiding of 100 TW femtosecond laser pulses in centimeter-scale underdense plasma. United States. doi:10.1063/1.2720374.
Chen, L. M., Kotaki, H., Nakajima, K., Koga, J., Bulanov, S. V., Tajima, T., Gu, Y. Q., Peng, H. S., Wang, X. X., Wen, T. S., Liu, H. J., Jiao, C. Y., Zhang, C. G., Huang, X. J., Guo, Y., Zhou, K. N., Hua, J. F., An, W. M., Tang, C. X., Lin, Y. Z., Laser Fusion Research Center, China Academy of Engineering Physics, Sichuan 621900, and Accelerator Laboratory of Tsinghua University, Beijing 100080. Sun . "Self-guiding of 100 TW femtosecond laser pulses in centimeter-scale underdense plasma". United States. doi:10.1063/1.2720374.
@article{osti_20974909,
title = {Self-guiding of 100 TW femtosecond laser pulses in centimeter-scale underdense plasma},
author = {Chen, L. M. and Kotaki, H. and Nakajima, K. and Koga, J. and Bulanov, S. V. and Tajima, T. and Gu, Y. Q. and Peng, H. S. and Wang, X. X. and Wen, T. S. and Liu, H. J. and Jiao, C. Y. and Zhang, C. G. and Huang, X. J. and Guo, Y. and Zhou, K. N. and Hua, J. F. and An, W. M. and Tang, C. X. and Lin, Y. Z. and Laser Fusion Research Center, China Academy of Engineering Physics, Sichuan 621900 and Accelerator Laboratory of Tsinghua University, Beijing 100080},
abstractNote = {An experiment for studying laser self-guiding has been carried out for the high power ultrashort pulse laser interaction with an underdense plasma slab. Formation of an extremely long plasma channel and its bending are observed when the laser pulse power is much higher than the critical power for relativistic self-focusing. The long self-guiding channel formation is accompanied by electron acceleration with a low transverse emittance and high electric current. Particle-in-cell simulations show that laser bending occurs when the accelerated electrons overtake the laser pulse and modify the refractive index in the region in front of the laser pulse.},
doi = {10.1063/1.2720374},
journal = {Physics of Plasmas},
number = 4,
volume = 14,
place = {United States},
year = {Sun Apr 15 00:00:00 EDT 2007},
month = {Sun Apr 15 00:00:00 EDT 2007}
}
  • The self-guiding of relativistically intense but ultrashort laser pulses has been experimentally investigated as a function of laser power, plasma density, and plasma length in the blowout regime. The extent of self-guiding, observed by imaging the plasma exit, is shown to be limited by nonlinear pump depletion with observed self-guiding of over tens of Rayleigh lengths. Spectrally resolved images of the plasma exit show evidence consistent with self-guiding in the plasma wake. Minimal losses of the self-guided pulse resulted when the initial spot size was matched to the blowout radius.
  • Self-compression and self-focusing instabilities of femtosecond, multiterawatt laser pulses propagating at subrelativistic intensities in strongly undercritical plasmas are studied. Our numerical simulations show that the spatiotemporal self-compression works effectively in underdense (1% of the critical density) plasmas and relativistically intense, few-cycle laser pulses can be produced in this way over propagation distances less than 2 mm. We found that pulses with Gaussian radial and time profiles are very robust maintaining their initial shape and proportions during this process, while, in general, the interplay between the self-compression and the self-focusing has proved to be very sensitive to the shape of lasermore » pulses.« less
  • We experimentally demonstrate that plasma waveguides produced with ultra-short laser pulses (sub-picosecond) in gas jets are capable of guiding high intensity laser pulses. This scheme has the unique ability of guiding a high-intensity laser pulse in a plasma waveguide created by the same laser system in the very simple and stable experimental setup. A hot plasma column was created by a femtosecond class laser that expands into an on-axis parabolic low density profile suitable to act as a waveguide for high intensity laser beams. We have successfully guided ~10 15 W cm -2 laser pulses in a 8 mm longmore » hydrogen plasma waveguide with a 35% guiding efficiency.« less
  • It is shown that regimes of laser-gas interaction exist, characterized by the ionization saturation, where the laser pulse is partially channeled over several Rayleigh lengths. The process of self-channeling driven by the gas ionization has been found under tunnelling ionization conditions and is accompanied by the leakage of part of the laser pulse energy.
  • Spatially confined propagation of high-power subpicosecond ([similar to] 270-fs) ultraviolet (248-nm) pulses has been experimentally studied in cold underdense plasma. The observed channels were longitudinally uniform, were approximately 1.4 [mu]m in diameter, and persisted for a length of 3--4 mm, a distance exceeding 100 Rayleigh ranges. X rays with a quantum energy [gt] 0.5 keV were also detected from the zone of propagation in coincidence with the channel formation. The occurrence of self-channeling with the rapid formation of a stable, extended, and longitudinally homogeneous filament is in qualitative agreement with a theoretical picture involving relativistic and charge-displacement nonlinearities.