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Title: Backward-propagating MeV electrons in ultra-intense laser interactions: Standing wave acceleration and coupling to the reflected laser pulse

Laser-accelerated electron beams have been created at a kHz repetition rate from the reflection of intense (∼10{sup 18 }W/cm{sup 2}), ∼40 fs laser pulses focused on a continuous water-jet in an experiment at the Air Force Research Laboratory. This paper investigates Particle-in-Cell simulations of the laser-target interaction to identify the physical mechanisms of electron acceleration in this experiment. We find that the standing-wave pattern created by the overlap of the incident and reflected laser is particularly important because this standing wave can “inject” electrons into the reflected laser pulse where the electrons are further accelerated. We identify two regimes of standing wave acceleration: a highly relativistic case (a{sub 0} ≥ 1), and a moderately relativistic case (a{sub 0} ∼ 0.5) which operates over a larger fraction of the laser period. In previous studies, other groups have investigated the highly relativistic case for its usefulness in launching electrons in the forward direction. We extend this by investigating electron acceleration in the specular (back reflection) direction and over a wide range of intensities (10{sup 17}–10{sup 19 }W cm{sup −2})
Authors:
;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [4] ;  [2] ;  [4] ;  [5]
  1. Department of Physics, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43210 (United States)
  2. (United States)
  3. National Research Council, Washington, DC 20001 (United States)
  4. Innovative Scientific Solutions, Inc., Dayton, Ohio 45459 (United States)
  5. Air Force Research Laboratory, Dayton, Ohio 45433 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22408140
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physics of Plasmas; Journal Volume: 22; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: (c) 2015 Author(s); Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; ACCELERATION; COMPUTERIZED SIMULATION; ELECTRON BEAMS; FOCUSING; INTERACTIONS; KHZ RANGE; LASER TARGETS; LASERS; MEV RANGE; PULSES; REFLECTION; RELATIVISTIC RANGE; STANDING WAVES; WATER