REVIEW OF SCIENTIFIC INSTRUMENTS 80 (2009) ARTN 083501
Physics of Plasmas 16 (2009)
Experiments show that application of laser smoothing schemes including smoothing by spectral dispersion and polarization smoothing effectively suppresses stimulated Raman scattering from a 2ω (527 nm) laser beam in a low average-gain plasma with a steep density gradient. Full-wave simulations reproduce the observed trends in the data and show that the scattering reduction is an indirect result of suppressing active filamentation. © 2009 American Institute of Physics.
Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering 7451 (2009)
We present collective Thomson scattering with soft x-ray free electron laser radiation as a method to track the evolution of warm dense matter plasmas with ∼200 fs time resolution. In a pump-probe scheme an 800 nm laser heats a 20 ∼m hydrogen droplet to the plasma state. After a variable time delay in the order of ps the plasma is probed by an x-ray ultra violet (XUV) pulse which scatters from the target and is recorded spectrally. Alternatively, in a self-Thomson scattering experiment, a single XUV pulse heats the target while a portion of its photons are being scattered probing the target. From such inelastic x-ray scattering spectra free electron temperature and density can be inferred giving insight on relaxation time scales in plasmas as well as the equation of state. We prove the feasibility of this method in the XUV range utilizing the free electron laser facility in Hamburg, FLASH. We recorded Thomson scattering spectra for hydrogen plasma, both in the self-scattering and in the pump-probe mode using optical laser heating. © 2009 SPIE-.
AIP Conference Proceedings 1086 (2009) 285-290
The development of new laser systems based on OPCPA will push Laser Wakefield Accelerators (LWFA) to a qualitatively new energy range. As in the past, numerical simulations will play a critical role in testing, probing and optimizing the physical parameters and setup of these upscale experiments. Based on the prospective design parameters for the future Vulcan 10 PW OPCPA laser system, we have determined the optimal parameters for a single LWFA stage from theoretical scalings for such system, which predict accelerations to the energy frontier, with self-injected electrons in excess of 10 GeV for a self-guided configuration, and above 50 GeV bunches with externally-injected electrons in a laser-guided configuration. These parameters were then used as a baseline for 3D full scale simulations with OSIRIS and QuickPIC. A 12 GeV self-injected beam was obtained with both codes, in agreement with theoretical predictions for the maximum energy gain and the injected charge. Preliminary results on the laser-guided configuration already confirm the accelerating gradients and the stability of the laser guided propagation for long distances required to reach the higher energies predicted by the theoretical scalings for this scenario. © 2009 American Institute of Physics.
Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion 51 (2009)
Advanced ignition concepts, such as fast ignition and shock ignition, are being investigated at the Omega Laser Facility. Integrated fast-ignition experiments with room-temperature re-entrant cone targets have begun, using 18 kJ of 351 nm drive energy to implode empty 40 νm thick CD shells, followed by 1.0 kJ of 1053 nm wavelength, short-pulse energy. Short pulses of 10 ps width have irradiated the inside of a hollow gold re-entrant cone at the time of peak compression. A threefold increase in the time-integrated, 2 to 7 keV x-ray emission was observed with x-ray pinhole cameras, indicating that energy is coupled from the short-pulse laser into the core by fast electrons. In shock-ignition experiments, spherical plastic-shell targets were compressed to high areal densities on a low adiabat, and a strong shock wave was sent into the converging, compressed capsule. In one experiment, 60 beams were used with an intensity spike at the end of the laser pulse, and the implosion performance was studied through neutron-yield and areal-density measurements. In a second experiment, the 60 OMEGA beams were split into a 40+20 configuration, with 40 low-intensity beams used for fuel assembly and 20 delayed beams with a short, high-intensity pulse shape (up to 1 × 10 W cm) for shock generation. © 2009 IOP Publishing Ltd.
Experimental investigation of fast electron transport through Kα imaging and spectroscopy in relativistic laser-solid interactions
Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion 51 (2009)
We report on experimental fast electron transport studies performed in the relativistic laser intensity interaction regime. The investigation has been carried out in the long-pulse (0.6 ps) regime relevant for the fast ignitor scheme in the inertial confinement fusion concept. Multilayer targets containing different materials were irradiated. Here we show the results concerning SiO or Al layers, respectively. The Kα radiation from a Cu tracer layer on the target rear side was found to be enhanced by a factor of about 8 with the irradiation of SiO targets with respect to the Al targets. The possible origin of this observation is discussed. © 2009 IOP Publishing Ltd.
Studies on the transport of high intensity laser-generated hot electrons in cone coupled wire targets
Physics of Plasmas 16 (2009)
Experimental results showing hot electron penetration into Cu wires using Kα fluorescence imaging are presented. A 500 J, 1 ps laser was focused at f/3 into hollow aluminum cones joined at their tip to Cu wires of diameters from 10 to 40 μm. Comparison of the axially diminishing absolute intensity of Cu Kα with modeling shows that the penetration of the electrons is consistent with one dimensional Ohmic potential limited transport. The laser coupling efficiency to electron energy within the wire is shown to be proportional to the cross sectional area of the wire, reaching 15% for 40 μm wires. Further, we find the hot electron temperature within the wire to be about 750 keV. The relevance of these data to cone coupled fast ignition is discussed. © 2009 American Institute of Physics.
Physical Review Letters 102 (2009)
Guided transport of a relativistic electron beam in solid is achieved experimentally by exploiting the strong magnetic fields created at the interface of two metals of different electrical resistivities. This is of substantial relevance to the Fast Ignitor approach to fusion energy production, since it allows the electron deposition to be spatially tailored-thus adding substantial design flexibility and preventing inefficiencies due to electron beam spreading. In the experiment, optical transition radiation and thermal emission from the target rear surface provide a clear signature of the electron confinement within a high resistivity tin layer sandwiched transversely between two low resistivity aluminum slabs. The experimental data are found to agree well with numerical simulations. © 2009 The American Physical Society.
Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical 42 (2009)
We present results for the ionic structure in dense, moderately to strongly coupled plasmas using two models: the mean spherical approximation (MSA) and the hypernetted chain (HNC) approach. While the first method allows for an analytical solution, the latter has to be solved iteratively. Independent of the coupling strength, the results show only small differences when the ions are considered to form an unscreened one-component plasma (OCP) system. If the electrons are treated as a polarizable background, the different ways to incorporate the screening yield, however, large discrepancies between the models, particularly for more strongly coupled plasmas. © 2009 IOP Publishing Ltd.
European Physical Journal: Special Topics 175 (2009) 49-55
Numerical studies are conducted on the electron injection into the first acceleration bucket of a laser wakefield by a weak counter-propagating laser pulse. It is shown that there are two injection mechanisms involved during the colliding laser interaction, the collective injection and stochastic injection. They are caused by the time-averaged ponderomotive force push and stochastic acceleration in the interfering fields, respectively. The threshold amplitude of the injection laser pulse is estimated for the occurrence of electron injection, which is close to that for stochastic acceleration and depends weakly upon the plasma density. The trapping of a large number of injection electrons can result in significant decay of the laser wakefield behind the first wave bucket. © EDP Sciences and Springer 2009.
European Physical Journal: Special Topics 175 (2009) 57-60
X-ray harmonic radiation extending to 3.3 Å, 3.8 keV from Petawatt class laser-solid interactions is presented. The harmonic spectra display a relativistic limit scaling up to ∼3000th order, above which an intensity dependent scaling roll-over is observed. Highly directional beamed emission for harmonic photon energy hv > 1 keV is found to be into a cone angle < 4°, significantly less than that of the incident laser cone (20°). © EDP Sciences and Springer 2009.
ATOMIC PROCESSES IN PLASMAS 1161 (2009) 253-253
High Energy Density Physics 5 (2009) 212-215
We have performed measurements of the radiation and the hot electron temperature in sub-millimetre size hohlraums driven by a high intensity short-pulse laser. The results indicate that radiation temperatures ∼80 eV can be obtained with ∼20 J of laser energy delivered on target. Radiation-hydrodynamics simulations indicate an absorption into thermal X-rays of ≲1-2%, with peak temperatures similar to those measured experimentally. Crown Copyright © 2009.
Nuclear Fusion 49 (2009)
A number of experiments have been undertaken at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory that were designed to investigate the physics of fast electron transport relevant to fast ignition inertial fusion. The laser, operating at a wavelength of 1054 nm, provided pulses of up to 350 J of energy on target in a duration that varied in the range 0.5-5 ps and a focused intensity of up to 10 W cm. A dependence of the divergence of the fast electron beam with intensity on target has been identified for the first time. This dependence is reproduced in two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations and has been found to be an intrinsic property of the laser-plasma interaction. A number of ideas to control the divergence of the fast electron beam are described. The fractional energy transfer to the fast electron beam has been obtained from calibrated, time-resolved, target rear-surface radiation temperature measurements. It is in the range 15-30%, increasing with incident laser energy on target. The fast electron temperature has been measured to be lower than the ponderomotive potential energy and is well described by Haines' relativistic absorption model. © 2009 IAEA, Vienna.
Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion 51 (2009)
Evidence of anomalous resistivity for hot electron propagation through a dense fusion core in fast ignition experiments
New Journal of Physics 11 (2009)
Anomalous resistivity for hot electrons passing through a dense core plasma is studied for fast ignition laser fusion. The hot electrons generated via the ultra-intense laser pulse and guiding cone interactions are measured after they pass through a dense plasma with a density of 50-100 g cm in a radius of 15-25 m. When significant neutron enhancements are achieved by the ultraintense laser pulse injection, the energy reduction of fast electrons is observed. Also, a reduction in the number of electrons with energy up to 15 MeV can be seen. We offer a new physical mechanism for the stopping of electrons, involving electron magnetohydrodynamic shock formation in the inhomogeneous plasma density region. The dissipation in the shock region can explain electron stopping with energies of the order of 15 MeV. © IOP Publishing Ltd and Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft.
High Energy Density Physics 4 (2008) 26-40
Laser-driven MeV proton beams are highly suitable for quantitative diagnosis of density profiles in dense matter by employing them as a particle probe in a point-projection imaging scheme. Via differential scattering and stopping, the technique allows to detect density modulations in dense compressed matter with intrinsic high spatial and temporal resolutions. The technique offers a viable alternative/complementary route to more established radiographic methods. A Monte-Carlo simulation package, MPRM, has been developed in order to quantify the density profile of the probed object from the experimentally obtained proton radiographs. A discussion of recent progress in this area is presented on the basis of analysis of experimental data, which has been supported by MPRM simulation. © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Bremsstrahlung and line spectroscopy of warm dense aluminum plasma heated by xuv free-electron-laser radiation
Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics 78 (2008)
We report the creation of solid-density aluminum plasma using free-electron laser (FEL) radiation at 13.5 nm wavelength. Ultrashort pulses were focused on a bulk Al target, yielding an intensity of 2× 1014/cm2. The radiation emitted from the plasma was measured using an xuv spectrometer. Bremsstrahlung and line intensity ratios yield consistent electron temperatures of about 38 eV, supported by radiation hydrodynamics simulations. This shows that xuv FELs heat up plasmas volumetrically and homogeneously at warm-dense-matter conditions, which are accurately characterized by xuv spectroscopy. © 2008 The American Physical Society.
5TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON INERTIAL FUSION SCIENCES AND APPLICATIONS (IFSA2007) 112 (2008)
AIP Conference Proceedings 1024 (2008) 173-182
Significant reduction of inherent large divergence of the laser driven MeV proton beams is achieved by strong (of the order of 10V/m) electrostatic focussing field generated in the confined region of a suitably shaped structure attached to the proton generating foil. The scheme exploits the positively charging of the target following an intense laser interaction. Reduction in the proton beam divergence, and commensurate increase in proton flux is observed while preserving the beam laminarity. The underlying mechanism has been established by the help of particle tracing simulations. Dynamic focussing power of the lens, mainly due to the target discharging, can also be exploited in order to bring up the desired chromaticity of the lens for the proton beams of broad energy range. © 2008 American Institute of Physics.