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Title: Electron acceleration in cavitated laser produced ion channels

This paper is concerned with the channeling of a relativistic laser pulse in an underdense plasma and with the subsequent generation of fast electrons in the cavitated ion channel. The laser pulse has a duration of several hundreds of femtoseconds and its power P{sub L} exceeds the critical power for laser channeling P{sub ch}, with P{sub ch}≈1.1P{sub c}, P{sub c} denoting the critical power for relativistic self-focusing. The laser pulse is focused in a plasma of electron density n{sub 0} such that the ratio n{sub 0}/n{sub c} lies in the interval [10{sup −3},10{sup −1}], n{sub c} denoting the critical density. The laser-plasma interaction under such conditions is investigated by means of three dimensional Particle-In-Cell (PIC) simulations. It is observed that the steep laser front gives rise to the excitation of a surface wave which propagates along the sharp radial boundaries of the electron free channel created by the laser pulse. The mechanism responsible for the generation of relativistic electrons observed in the PIC simulations is also analyzed by means of a test particles code. The fast electrons are found to be generated by the combination of a surface wave and of the betatron resonance. The maximum electron energy observed inmore » the simulations is scaled as a function of P{sub L}/P{sub c}; it reaches 350–600 MeV for P{sub L}/P{sub c} = 70–140.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [3] ;  [1]
  1. Theoretical Physics Institute, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2J1 (Canada)
  2. (United States)
  3. (France)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22218566
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physics of Plasmas; Journal Volume: 20; Journal Issue: 10; Other Information: (c) 2013 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; BOUNDARY LAYERS; CHANNELING; ELECTRON DENSITY; ELECTRONS; EXCITATION; IONS; LASERS; MEV RANGE; PLASMA DENSITY; PLASMA GUNS; PLASMA PRODUCTION; PLASMA SIMULATION; PLASMA WAVES; RELATIVISTIC PLASMA; WAVE PROPAGATION