Relativistic laser propagation through underdense and overdense plasmas

Year: 2001

Authors: Willi O., Campbell DH., Schiavi A., Borghesi M., Galimberti M., Gizzi LA., Nazarov W., MacKinnon AJ., Pukhov A., Meyer-Ter-Vehn J.

Autors Affiliation: Univ London Imperial Coll Sci Technol & Med, Blackett Lab, London SW7 2BZ, England;
Queens Univ Belfast, Dept Pure & Appl Phys, Belfast BT7 1NN, Antrim North Ireland;
CNR, IFAM, I-56100 Pisa, Italy;
Univ Dundee, Dept Chem, Dundee DD1 4HN, Scotland;
Univ Calif Lawrence Livermore Natl Lab, Livermore, CA USA;
Max Planck Inst Quantenopt, Garching, Germany

Abstract: Detailed investigations of the propagation of an ultraintense picosecond laser pulse through preformed plasmas have been carried out. An underdense plasma with peak density around 0.1n(c) was generated by exploding a thin foil target with an intense nanosecond laser pulse. The formation of plasma channels with an ultraintense laser pulse due to ponderomotive expulsion of elections and the subsequent Coulomb explosion were investigated. The laser transmission through underdense plasmas was measured for a picosecond pulse at intensities above 10(19) W/cm(2) with and without a plasma channel preformed with an ultraintense prepulse. The energy transmitted through the plasma increased from the few percent transmittance measured in absence of the preformed channel to almost 100% transmission with the channelling to main pulse delay at around 100 ps. The propagation of a relativistic laser pulse through overdense plasmas was also investigated. A well-characterized plasma with an electron density up to 8n(c) was generated by soft X-ray irradiation of a low-density foam target. The propagation of the laser pulse was observed via X-ray imaging and monitoring the energy transmission through the plasma. Evidence of collimated laser transport was obtained.

Journal/Review: LASER AND PARTICLE BEAMS

Volume: 19 (1)      Pages from: 5  to: 13

More Information: Conference: 2nd ULIA Conference Location: PISA, ITALY Date: SEP 29-OCT 03, 2000
KeyWords: channel formation; preformed plasma; exploding foil; pulse; targets
DOI: 10.1017/S0263034601191019

Citations: 15
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