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

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.
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:
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
Published Article
Journal Name:
Physics of Plasmas
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 24; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 1070-664X
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
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)
Country of Publication:
United States
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; Scattering; Spectroscopy; Time resolved spectroscopy; Ionization; Reflectivity; Optical elements; Ultrafast spectroscopy; Chemical analysis; Time measurement; Optical metrology
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1420500; OSTI ID: 1425378