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Title: Experiment and simulation of novel liquid crystal plasma mirrors for high contrast, intense laser pulses

Here, we describe the first demonstration of plasma mirrors made using freely suspended, ultra-thin films formed dynamically and in-situ. We also present novel particle-in-cell simulations that for the first time incorporate multiphoton ionization and dielectric models that are necessary for describing plasma mirrors. Dielectric plasma mirrors are a crucial component for high intensity laser applications such as ion acceleration and solid target high harmonic generation because they greatly improve pulse contrast. We use the liquid crystal 8CB and introduce an innovative dynamic film formation device that can tune the film thickness so that it acts as its own antireflection coating. Films can be formed at a prolonged, high repetition rate without the need for subsequent realignment. High intensity reflectance above 75% and low-field reflectance below 0.2% are demonstrated, as well as initial ion acceleration experimental results that demonstrate increased ion energy and yield on shots cleaned with these plasma mirrors.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [1] ;  [1]
  1. The Ohio State Univ., Columbus, OH (United States)
  2. Univ. Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris (France)
  3. STFC Rutherford Appleton Lab., Oxfordshire (United Kingdom)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
NA0003107; FC52-06NA26262
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Scientific Reports
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 6; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2045-2322
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
The Ohio State Univ., Columbus, OH (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; laser-produced plasmas; ultrafast lasers
OSTI Identifier:
1349103
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1361202