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Title: The role of the gas/plasma plume and self-focusing in a gas-filled capillary discharge waveguide for high-power laser-plasma applications

The role of the gas/plasma plume at the entrance of a gas-filled capillary discharge plasma waveguide in increasing the laser intensity has been investigated. Distinction is made between neutral gas and hot plasma plumes that, respectively, develop before and after discharge breakdown. Time-averaged measurements show that the on-axis plasma density of a fully expanded plasma plume over this region is similar to that inside the waveguide. Above the critical power, relativistic and ponderomotive self-focusing lead to an increase in the intensity, which can be nearly a factor of 2 compared with the case without a plume. When used as a laser plasma wakefield accelerator, the enhancement of intensity can lead to prompt electron injection very close to the entrance of the waveguide. Self-focusing occurs within two Rayleigh lengths of the waveguide entrance plane in the region, where the laser beam is converging. Analytical theory and numerical simulations show that, for a density of 3.0 × 10{sup 18} cm{sup −3}, the peak normalized laser vector potential, a{sub 0}, increases from 1.0 to 1.85 close to the entrance plane of the capillary compared with a{sub 0} = 1.41 when the plume is neglected.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;  [1]
  1. Department of Physics, Scottish Universities Physics Alliance, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow G4 0NG (United Kingdom)
  2. (Romania)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22220627
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physics of Plasmas; Journal Volume: 20; Journal Issue: 9; Other Information: (c) 2013 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; COMPUTERIZED SIMULATION; ELECTRIC DISCHARGES; FOCUSING; HOT PLASMA; LASERS; PLASMA DENSITY; PLASMA DIAGNOSTICS; PLASMA GUNS; PLASMA SIMULATION; PONDEROMOTIVE FORCE; PROMPT ELECTRONS; RELATIVISTIC RANGE; WAKEFIELD ACCELERATORS; WAVEGUIDES