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Title: The unexpected role of evolving longitudinal electric fields in generating energetic electrons in relativistically transparent plasmas

Abstract

Here, superponderomotive-energy electrons are observed experimentally from the interaction of an intense laser pulse with a relativistically transparent target. For a relativistically transparent target, kinetic modeling shows that the generation of energetic electrons is dominated by energy transfer within the main, classically overdense, plasma volume. The laser pulse produces a narrowing, funnel-like channel inside the plasma volume that generates a field structure responsible for the electron heating. The field structure combines a slowly evolving azimuthal magnetic field, generated by a strong laser-driven longitudinal electron current, and, unexpectedly, a strong propagating longitudinal electric field, generated by reflections off the walls of the funnel-like channel. The magnetic field assists electron heating by the transverse electric field of the laser pulse through deflections, whereas the longitudinal electric field directly accelerates the electrons in the forward direction. The longitudinal electric field produced by reflections is 30 times stronger than that in the incoming laser beam and the resulting direct laser acceleration contributes roughly one third of the energy transferred by the transverse electric field of the laser pulse to electrons of the super-ponderomotive tail.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [3];  [4]; ORCiD logo [5];  [4];  [1]; ORCiD logo [6]; ORCiD logo [3];  [7];  [1]; ORCiD logo [8]
  1. Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (United States)
  2. Univ. of California at San Diego, La Jolla, CA (United States)
  3. Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States); Univ. of California, Davis, CA (United States)
  4. Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
  5. Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (United States); Univ. of California, Irvine, CA (United States)
  6. Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (United States); General Atomics, CA (United States)
  7. Univ. of St. Andrews, Fife (United Kingdom)
  8. Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (United States); Naval Research Lab., Washington, D.C. (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
OSTI Identifier:
1471807
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1479073; OSTI ID: 1481051
Report Number(s):
LLNL-JRNL-679373; LLNL-JRNL-760366
Journal ID: ISSN 1367-2630; 803263
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC52-07NA27344; NA0002008; FG02-04ER54742; NA0002028; NA0002723
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
New Journal of Physics
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 20; Journal Issue: 9; Journal ID: ISSN 1367-2630
Publisher:
IOP Publishing
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; laser–plasma; electron acceleration; relativistically induced transparency; Lasers

Citation Formats

Willingale, L., Arefiev, A. V., Williams, G. J., Chen, H., Dollar, F., Hazi, A. U., Maksimchuk, A., Manuel, M. J-E, Marley, E., Nazarov, W., Zhao, T. Z., and Zulick, C. The unexpected role of evolving longitudinal electric fields in generating energetic electrons in relativistically transparent plasmas. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1088/1367-2630/aae034.
Willingale, L., Arefiev, A. V., Williams, G. J., Chen, H., Dollar, F., Hazi, A. U., Maksimchuk, A., Manuel, M. J-E, Marley, E., Nazarov, W., Zhao, T. Z., & Zulick, C. The unexpected role of evolving longitudinal electric fields in generating energetic electrons in relativistically transparent plasmas. United States. doi:10.1088/1367-2630/aae034.
Willingale, L., Arefiev, A. V., Williams, G. J., Chen, H., Dollar, F., Hazi, A. U., Maksimchuk, A., Manuel, M. J-E, Marley, E., Nazarov, W., Zhao, T. Z., and Zulick, C. Fri . "The unexpected role of evolving longitudinal electric fields in generating energetic electrons in relativistically transparent plasmas". United States. doi:10.1088/1367-2630/aae034.
@article{osti_1471807,
title = {The unexpected role of evolving longitudinal electric fields in generating energetic electrons in relativistically transparent plasmas},
author = {Willingale, L. and Arefiev, A. V. and Williams, G. J. and Chen, H. and Dollar, F. and Hazi, A. U. and Maksimchuk, A. and Manuel, M. J-E and Marley, E. and Nazarov, W. and Zhao, T. Z. and Zulick, C.},
abstractNote = {Here, superponderomotive-energy electrons are observed experimentally from the interaction of an intense laser pulse with a relativistically transparent target. For a relativistically transparent target, kinetic modeling shows that the generation of energetic electrons is dominated by energy transfer within the main, classically overdense, plasma volume. The laser pulse produces a narrowing, funnel-like channel inside the plasma volume that generates a field structure responsible for the electron heating. The field structure combines a slowly evolving azimuthal magnetic field, generated by a strong laser-driven longitudinal electron current, and, unexpectedly, a strong propagating longitudinal electric field, generated by reflections off the walls of the funnel-like channel. The magnetic field assists electron heating by the transverse electric field of the laser pulse through deflections, whereas the longitudinal electric field directly accelerates the electrons in the forward direction. The longitudinal electric field produced by reflections is 30 times stronger than that in the incoming laser beam and the resulting direct laser acceleration contributes roughly one third of the energy transferred by the transverse electric field of the laser pulse to electrons of the super-ponderomotive tail.},
doi = {10.1088/1367-2630/aae034},
journal = {New Journal of Physics},
number = 9,
volume = 20,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {9}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record
DOI: 10.1088/1367-2630/aae034

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