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Title: Generation of Superponderomotive Electrons in Multipicosecond Interactions of Kilojoule Laser Beams with Solid-Density Plasmas

Abstract

The interaction of a multipicosecond, kilojoule laser pulse with a surface of a solid target has been demonstrated to produce electrons with energies far beyond the free-electron ponderomotive limit $$m_{e}c^{2}a^{2}_{0}$$/2. Particle-in-cell simulations suggest that an increase in the pulse duration from 1 to 10 ps leads to the formation of a low-density shelf (about 10% of the critical density). The shelf extends over 100 μm toward the vacuum side, with a nonstationary potential barrier forming in that area. Electrons reflected from the barrier gain superponderomotive energy from the potential. Some electrons experience an even greater energy gain due to ponderomotive acceleration when their “dephasing rate” $$R = γ – p_{x}/m_{e}c$$ drops well below unity, thus increasing acceleration by a factor of 1/$R$. Furthermore, both 1D and 2D simulations indicate that these mechanisms are responsible for the generation of extensive thermal distributions with $$T_{e}$$ > 10 MeV and a high-energy cutoff of hundreds of MeV.

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [1];  [1];  [3];  [4];  [5];  [1]
  1. Univ. of California, San Diego, CA (United States)
  2. Univ. of Texas, Austin, TX (United States)
  3. Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), Oxford (United Kingdom). Rutherford Appleton Lab. (RAL)
  4. General Atomics, San Diego, CA (United States)
  5. Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA); USDOE Office of Science (SC), Fusion Energy Sciences (FES)
OSTI Identifier:
1579609
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1247076
Report Number(s):
LLNL-JRNL-799339
Journal ID: ISSN 0031-9007; PRLTAO; 833827
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC52-07NA27344; NA0000870; FG02-05ER54834; FC02-04ER54789; NA0002008; FG02-04ER54742; FG02- 04ER54742
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physical Review Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 116; Journal Issue: 15; Journal ID: ISSN 0031-9007
Publisher:
American Physical Society (APS)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY

Citation Formats

Sorokovikova, A., Arefiev, A. V., McGuffey, C., Qiao, B., Robinson, A. P. L., Wei, M. S., McLean, H. S., and Beg, F. N. Generation of Superponderomotive Electrons in Multipicosecond Interactions of Kilojoule Laser Beams with Solid-Density Plasmas. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.116.155001.
Sorokovikova, A., Arefiev, A. V., McGuffey, C., Qiao, B., Robinson, A. P. L., Wei, M. S., McLean, H. S., & Beg, F. N. Generation of Superponderomotive Electrons in Multipicosecond Interactions of Kilojoule Laser Beams with Solid-Density Plasmas. United States. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.116.155001.
Sorokovikova, A., Arefiev, A. V., McGuffey, C., Qiao, B., Robinson, A. P. L., Wei, M. S., McLean, H. S., and Beg, F. N. Tue . "Generation of Superponderomotive Electrons in Multipicosecond Interactions of Kilojoule Laser Beams with Solid-Density Plasmas". United States. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.116.155001. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1579609.
@article{osti_1579609,
title = {Generation of Superponderomotive Electrons in Multipicosecond Interactions of Kilojoule Laser Beams with Solid-Density Plasmas},
author = {Sorokovikova, A. and Arefiev, A. V. and McGuffey, C. and Qiao, B. and Robinson, A. P. L. and Wei, M. S. and McLean, H. S. and Beg, F. N.},
abstractNote = {The interaction of a multipicosecond, kilojoule laser pulse with a surface of a solid target has been demonstrated to produce electrons with energies far beyond the free-electron ponderomotive limit $m_{e}c^{2}a^{2}_{0}$/2. Particle-in-cell simulations suggest that an increase in the pulse duration from 1 to 10 ps leads to the formation of a low-density shelf (about 10% of the critical density). The shelf extends over 100 μm toward the vacuum side, with a nonstationary potential barrier forming in that area. Electrons reflected from the barrier gain superponderomotive energy from the potential. Some electrons experience an even greater energy gain due to ponderomotive acceleration when their “dephasing rate” $R = γ – p_{x}/m_{e}c$ drops well below unity, thus increasing acceleration by a factor of 1/$R$. Furthermore, both 1D and 2D simulations indicate that these mechanisms are responsible for the generation of extensive thermal distributions with $T_{e}$ > 10 MeV and a high-energy cutoff of hundreds of MeV.},
doi = {10.1103/PhysRevLett.116.155001},
journal = {Physical Review Letters},
number = 15,
volume = 116,
place = {United States},
year = {2016},
month = {4}
}

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