Publications


Observation of postsoliton expansion following laser propagation through an underdense plasma

Physical Review Letters 105 (2010)

G Sarri, DK Singh, JR Davies, F Fiuza, KL Lancaster, EL Clark, S Hassan, J Jiang, N Kageiwa, N Lopes, A Rehman, C Russo, RHH Scott, T Tanimoto, Z Najmudin, KA Tanaka, M Tatarakis, M Borghesi, PA Norreys

The expansion of electromagnetic postsolitons emerging from the interaction of a 30? ps, 3×1018Wcm⊃-2 laser pulse with an underdense deuterium plasma has been observed up to 100? ps after the pulse propagation, when large numbers of postsolitons were seen to remain in the plasma. The temporal evolution of the postsolitons has been accurately characterized with a high spatial and temporal resolution. The observed expansion is compared to analytical models and three-dimensional particle-in-cell results, revealing a polarization dependence of the postsoliton dynamics. © 2010 The American Physical Society.


Transport of laser accelerated proton beams and isochoric heating of matter

Journal of Physics: Conference Series 244 (2010)

M Roth, I Alber, V Bagnoud, C Brown, R Clarke, H Daido, J Fernandez, K Flippo, S Gaillard, C Gauthier, S Glenzer, G Gregori, M Günther, K Harres, R Heathcote, A Kritcher, N Kugland, S Lepape, B Li, M Makita, J Mithen, C Niemann, F Nürnberg, D Offermann, A Otten, A Pelka, D Riley, G Schaumann, M Schollmeier, J Schütrumpf, M Tampo, A Tauschwitz, AN Tauschwitz

The acceleration of intense proton and ion beams by ultra-intense lasers has matured to a point where applications in basic research and technology are being developed. Crucial for harvesting the unmatched beam parameters driven by the relativistic electron sheath is the precise control of the beam. We report on recent experiments using the PHELIX laser at GSI, the VULCAN laser at RAL and the TRIDENT laser at LANL to control and use laser accelerated proton beams for applications in high energy density research. We demonstrate efficient collimation of the proton beam using high field pulsed solenoid magnets, a prerequisite to capture and transport the beam for applications. Furthermore we report on two campaigns to use intense, short proton bunches to isochorically heat solid targets up to the warm dense matter state. The temporal profile of the proton beam allows for rapid heating of the target, much faster than the hydrodynamic response time thereby creating a strongly coupled plasma at solid density. The target parameters are then probed by X-ray Thomson scattering (XRTS) to reveal the density and temperature of the heated volume. This combination of two powerful techniques developed during the past few years allows for the generation and investigation of macroscopic samples of matter in states present in giant planets or the interior of the earth. © 2010 IOP Publishing Ltd.


Relativistic quasimonoenergetic positron jets from intense laser-solid interactions.

Phys Rev Lett 105 (2010) 015003-

H Chen, SC Wilks, DD Meyerhofer, J Bonlie, CD Chen, SN Chen, C Courtois, L Elberson, G Gregori, W Kruer, O Landoas, J Mithen, J Myatt, CD Murphy, P Nilson, D Price, M Schneider, R Shepherd, C Stoeckl, M Tabak, R Tommasini, P Beiersdorfer

Detailed angle and energy resolved measurements of positrons ejected from the back of a gold target that was irradiated with an intense picosecond duration laser pulse reveal that the positrons are ejected in a collimated relativistic jet. The laser-positron energy conversion efficiency is ∼2×10{-4}. The jets have ∼20 degree angular divergence and the energy distributions are quasimonoenergetic with energy of 4 to 20 MeV and a beam temperature of ∼1  MeV. The sheath electric field on the surface of the target is shown to determine the positron energy. The positron angular and energy distribution is controlled by varying the sheath field, through the laser conditions and target geometry.


Probing near-solid density plasmas using soft x-ray scattering

Journal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics 43 (2010)

S Toleikis, T Bornath, T Döppner, S Düsterer, RR Fäustlin, E Förster, C Fortmann, SH Glenzer, S Göde, G Gregori, R Irsig, T Laarmann, HJ Lee, B Li, K-H Meiwes-Broer, J Mithen, B Nagler, A Przystawik, P Radcliffe, H Redlin, R Redmer, H Reinholz, G Röpke, F Tavella, R Thiele, J Tiggesbäumker, I Uschmann, SM Vinko, T Whitcher, U Zastrau, B Ziaja, T Tschentscher

X-ray scattering using highly brilliant x-ray free-electron laser (FEL) radiation provides new access to probe free-electron density, temperature and ionization in near-solid density plasmas. First experiments at the soft x-ray FEL FLASH at DESY, Hamburg, show the capabilities of this technique. The ultrashort FEL pulses in particular can probe equilibration phenomena occurring after excitation of the plasma using ultrashort optical laser pumping. We have investigated liquid hydrogen and find that the interaction of very intense soft x-ray FEL radiation alone heats the sample volume. As the plasma establishes, photons from the same pulse undergo scattering, thus probing the transient, warm dense matter state. We find a free-electron density of (2.6 ± 0.2) × 1020 cm-3 and an electron temperature of 14 ± 3.5 eV. In pump-probe experiments, using intense optical laser pulses to generate more extreme states of matter, this interaction of the probe pulse has to be considered in the interpretation of scattering data. In this paper, we present details of the experimental setup at FLASH and the diagnostic methods used to quantitatively analyse the data. © 2010 IOP Publishing Ltd.


Observation of ultrafast nonequilibrium collective dynamics in warm dense hydrogen.

Phys Rev Lett 104 (2010) 125002-

RR Fäustlin, T Bornath, T Döppner, S Düsterer, E Förster, C Fortmann, SH Glenzer, S Göde, G Gregori, R Irsig, T Laarmann, HJ Lee, B Li, KH Meiwes-Broer, J Mithen, B Nagler, A Przystawik, H Redlin, R Redmer, H Reinholz, G Röpke, F Tavella, R Thiele, J Tiggesbäumker, S Toleikis, I Uschmann, SM Vinko, T Whitcher, U Zastrau, B Ziaja, T Tschentscher

We investigate ultrafast (fs) electron dynamics in a liquid hydrogen sample, isochorically and volumetrically heated to a moderately coupled plasma state. Thomson scattering measurements using 91.8 eV photons from the free-electron laser in Hamburg (FLASH at DESY) show that the hydrogen plasma has been driven to a nonthermal state with an electron temperature of 13 eV and an ion temperature below 0.1 eV, while the free-electron density is 2.8x10{20} cm{-3}. For dense plasmas, our experimental data strongly support a nonequilibrium kinetics model that uses impact ionization cross sections based on classical free-electron collisions.


Hot electron generation and transport using Kα emission

Journal of Physics: Conference Series 244 (2010)

KU Akli, RB Stephens, MH Key, T Bartal, FN Beg, S Chawla, CD Chen, R Fedosejevs, RR Freeman, H Friesen, E Giraldez, JS Green, DS Hey, DP Higginson, J Hund, LC Jarrott, GE Kemp, JA King, A Kryger, K Lancaster, S Lepape, A Link, T Ma, AJ MacKinnon, AG MacPhee, HS McLean, C Murphy, PA Norreys, V Ovchinnikov, PK Patel, Y Ping, H Sawada, D Schumacher, W Theobald, YY Tsui, LD Van Woerkom, MS Wei, B Westover, T Yabuuchi

We have conducted experiments on both the Vulcan and Titan laser facilities to study hot electron generation and transport in the context of fast ignition. Cu wires attached to Al cones were used to investigate the effect on coupling efficiency of plasma surround and the pre-formed plasma inside the cone. We found that with thin cones 15% of laser energy is coupled to the 40μm diameter wire emulating a 40μm fast ignition spot. Thick cone walls, simulating plasma in fast ignition, reduce coupling by x4. An increase of pre-pulse level inside the cone by a factor of 50 reduces coupling by a factor of 3. © 2010 IOP Publishing Ltd.


Electronic structure of an XUV photogenerated solid-density aluminum plasma.

Phys Rev Lett 104 (2010) 225001-

SM Vinko, U Zastrau, S Mazevet, J Andreasson, S Bajt, T Burian, J Chalupsky, HN Chapman, J Cihelka, D Doria, T Döppner, S Düsterer, T Dzelzainis, RR Fäustlin, C Fortmann, E Förster, E Galtier, SH Glenzer, S Göde, G Gregori, J Hajdu, V Hajkova, PA Heimann, R Irsig, L Juha, M Jurek, J Krzywinski, T Laarmann, HJ Lee, RW Lee, B Li, KH Meiwes-Broer, JP Mithen, B Nagler, AJ Nelson, A Przystawik, R Redmer, D Riley, F Rosmej, R Sobierajski, F Tavella, R Thiele, J Tiggesbäumker, S Toleikis, T Tschentscher, L Vysin, TJ Whitcher, S White, JS Wark

By use of high intensity XUV radiation from the FLASH free-electron laser at DESY, we have created highly excited exotic states of matter in solid-density aluminum samples. The XUV intensity is sufficiently high to excite an inner-shell electron from a large fraction of the atoms in the focal region. We show that soft-x-ray emission spectroscopy measurements reveal the electronic temperature and density of this highly excited system immediately after the excitation pulse, with detailed calculations of the electronic structure, based on finite-temperature density functional theory, in good agreement with the experimental results.


Metal deformation and phase transitions at extremely high strain rates

MRS BULLETIN 35 (2010) 999-1006

RE Rudd, TC Germann, BA Remington, JS Wark


Screening of ionic cores in partially ionized plasmas within linear response

Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics 81 (2010)

DO Gericke, J Vorberger, K Wünsch, G Gregori

We employ a pseudopotential approach to investigate the screening of ionic cores in partially ionized plasmas. Here, the effect of the tightly bound electrons is condensed into an effective potential between the (free) valence electrons and the ionic cores. Even for weak electron-ion coupling, the corresponding screening clouds show strong modifications from the Debye result for elements heavier than helium. Modifications of the theoretically predicted x-ray scattering signal and implications on measurements are discussed. © 2010 The American Physical Society.


Micron-scale fast electron filaments and recirculation determined from rear-side optical emission in high-intensity laser-solid interactions

New Journal of Physics 12 (2010)

C Bellei, SR Nagel, S Kar, A Henig, S Kneip, C Palmer, A Sävert, L Willingale, D Carroll, B Dromey, JS Green, K Markey, P Simpson, RJ Clarke, H Lowe, D Neely, C Spindloe, M Tolley, MC Kaluza, SPD Mangles, P McKenna, PA Norreys, J Schreiber, M Zepf, JR Davies, K Krushelnick, Z Najmudin

The transport of relativistic electrons generated in the interaction of petawatt class lasers with solid targets has been studied through measurements of the second harmonic optical emission from their rear surface. The high degree of polarization of the emission indicates that it is predominantly optical transition radiation (TR). A halo that surrounds the main region of emission is also polarized and is attributed to the effect of electron recirculation. The variation of the polarization state and intensity of radiation with the angle of observation indicates that the emission of TR is highly directional and provides evidence for the presence of μm-size filaments. A brief discussion on the possible causes of such a fine electron beam structure is given. © IOP Publishing Ltd and Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft.


A proposal for testing subcritical vacuum pair production with high power lasers

ArXiv (2010)

G Gregori, DB Blaschke, PP Rajeev, H Chen, RJ Clarke, T Huffman, CD Murphy, AV Prozorkevich, CD Roberts, G Röpke, SM Schmidt, SA Smolyansky, S Wilks, R Bingham

We present a proposal for testing the prediction of non-equilibrium quantum field theory below the Schwinger limit. The proposed experiments should be able to detect a measurable number of gamma rays resulting from the annihilation of pairs in the focal spot of two opposing high intensity laser beams. We discuss the dependence of the expected number of gamma rays with the laser parameters and compare with the estimated background level of gamma hits for realistic laser conditions.


Electron energy deposition to the fusion target core for fast ignition

Journal of Physics: Conference Series 244 (2010)

WM Wang, ZM Sheng, PA Norreys, M Sherlock, R Trines, APL Robinson, YT Li, B Hao, J Zhang

Heating of the target core for fast ignition by electron beams is investigated by two-dimensional collisional particle-in-cell simulations. It is found that the electron beams emitted from the core surface with the initial energy of 1.4MeV, 2.4MeV, and 4.2MeV can heat most efficiently the core with ρr = 0.75g/cm2, 1.5g/cm2, and 3g/cm2, respectively, when taking ρ 300g/cm3, where ρ and r are the mass density and radius of the core, respectively. © 2010 IOP Publishing Ltd.


Ultrafast melting of carbon induced by intense proton beams

Physical Review Letters 105 (2010)

A Pelka, G Gregori, DO Gericke, J Vorberger, SH Glenzer, MM Günther, K Harres, R Heathcote, AL Kritcher, NL Kugland, B Li, M Makita, J Mithen, D Neely, C Niemann, A Otten, D Riley, G Schaumann, M Schollmeier, A Tauschwitz, M Roth

Laser-produced proton beams have been used to achieve ultrafast volumetric heating of carbon samples at solid density. The isochoric melting of carbon was probed by a scattering of x rays from a secondary laser-produced plasma. From the scattering signal, we have deduced the fraction of the material that was melted by the inhomogeneous heating. The results are compared to different theoretical approaches for the equation of state which suggests modifications from standard models. © 2010 The American Physical Society.


The strength of single crystal copper under uniaxial shock compression at 100 GPa.

J Phys Condens Matter 22 (2010) 065404-

WJ Murphy, A Higginbotham, G Kimminau, B Barbrel, EM Bringa, J Hawreliak, R Kodama, M Koenig, W McBarron, MA Meyers, B Nagler, N Ozaki, N Park, B Remington, S Rothman, SM Vinko, T Whitcher, JS Wark

In situ x-ray diffraction has been used to measure the shear strain (and thus strength) of single crystal copper shocked to 100 GPa pressures at strain rates over two orders of magnitude higher than those achieved previously. For shocks in the [001] direction there is a significant associated shear strain, while shocks in the [111] direction give negligible shear strain. We infer, using molecular dynamics simulations and VISAR (standing for 'velocity interferometer system for any reflector') measurements, that the strength of the material increases dramatically (to approximately 1 GPa) for these extreme strain rates.


Experimental detection of post-soliton structures following high intensity laser interaction with a sub-critical gas jet

37th EPS Conference on Plasma Physics 2010, EPS 2010 3 (2010) 1960-1963

G Sarri, DK Singh, JR Davies, KL Lancaster, EL Clark, S Hassan, J Jiang, N Kageiwa, N Lopes, A Rehman, C Russo, RHH Scott, T Tanimoto, Z Najmudin, KA Tanaka, M Tatarakis, M Borghesi, P Norreys


Design of the 10 PW OPCPA facility for the Vulcan laser

Lasers and Electro-Optics/Quantum Electronics and Laser Science Conference: 2010 Laser Science to Photonic Applications, CLEO/QELS 2010 (2010)

I Musgrave, O Chekhlov, J Collier, R Clarke, A Dunne, S Hancock, R Heathcote, C Hernandez-Gomez, M Galimberti, A Lyachev, P Matousek, D Neely, P Norreys, I Ross, Y Tang, T Winstone, G New

We present the progress made in developing IOPW OPCPA facility for the Vulcan laser to produce pulses with focused intensities >1023 Wcm-2. This power level will be delivered by generating pulses with >300J in 30fs. These pulses will be delivered to two target areas: in one target area they will be combined with the existing Vulcan Petawatt beamline and a new target area will be created for high intensity interactions. © 2010 Optical Society of America.


Creation of persistent, straight, 2 mm long laser driven channels in underdense plasmas

Physics of Plasmas 17 (2010)

G Sarri, KL Lancaster, R Trines, EL Clark, S Hassan, J Jiang, N Kageiwa, N Lopes, R Ramis, A Rehman, X Ribeyre, C Russo, RHH Scott, T Tanimoto, M Temporal, M Borghesi, JR Davies, Z Najmudin, KA Tanaka, M Tatarakis, PA Norreys

The experimental study of the behavior of deuterium plasma with densities between 2× 1018 and 2× 1020 cm-3, subjected to a 6 TW, 30 ps, 3× 1018 W cm-2 laser pulse, is presented. Conclusive experimental proof that a single straight channel is generated when the laser pulse interacts with the lowest densities is provided. This channel shows no small-scale longitudinal density modulations, extends up to 2 mm in length and persists for up to 150 ps after the peak of the interaction. Bifurcation of the channel after 1 mm propagation distance is observed for the first time. For higher density interactions, above the relativistic self-focusing threshold, bubblelike structures are observed to form at late times. These observations have implications for both laser wakefield accelerators and fast ignition inertial fusion studies. © 2010 American Institute of Physics.


Measurement of the dynamic response of compressed hydrogen by inelastic X-ray scattering

Journal of Physics: Conference Series 244 (2010)

K Falk, AP Jephcoat, BJB Crowley, RR Fäustlin, C Fortmann, FY Khattak, AK Kleppe, D Riley, S Toleikis, J Wark, H Wilhelm, G Gregori

Measurement of the dynamic properties of hydrogen and helium under extreme pressures is a key to understanding the physics of planetary interiors. The inelastic scattering signal from statically compressed hydrogen inside diamond anvil cells at 2.8 GPa and 6.4 GPa was measured at the Diamond Light Source synchrotron facility in the UK. The first direct measurement of the local field correction to the Coulomb interactions in degenerate plasmas was obtained from spectral shifts in the scattering data and compared to predictions by the Utsumi-Ichimaru theory for degenerate electron liquids. © 2010 IOP Publishing Ltd.


Phonon instabilities in uniaxially compressed fcc metals as seen in molecular dynamics simulations

PHYSICAL REVIEW B 81 (2010) ARTN 092102

G Kimminau, P Erhart, EM Bringa, B Remington, JS Wark


XUV Emission from Autoionizing Hole States Induced by Intense XUV-FEL at Intensities up to 10(17) W/cm(2)

SIXTH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON INERTIAL FUSION SCIENCES AND APPLICATIONS, PARTS 1-4 244 (2010)

FB Rosmej, E Galtier, D Riley, T Dzelzainis, P Heinmann, FY Khattak, RW Lee, B Nagler, A Nelson, T Tschentscher, SM Vinko, T Whitcher, S Toleikis, R Faeustlin, R Soberierski, L Juha, M Fajardo, JS Wark, J Chalupsky, V Hajkova, J Krzywinski, M Jurek, M Kozlova, IFSA