Special issue 'Extreme light fields and their interaction with matter'
Acceleration of electrons in the interaction of a subterawatt laser pulse with a nonuniform plasma
V. S. Popovab, N. E. Andreevab
a Joint Institute for High Temperatures, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow
b Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (State University), Dolgoprudny, Moscow region
We consider the effect of nonlinear self-focusing and self-modulation processes on the acceleration of electrons in the interaction of a subterawatt femtosecond laser pulse with a gas jet plasma. A three-dimensional particle-in-cell (3D PIC) simulation of the interaction of laser radiation with a low-density nonuniform plasma shows that laser pulse self-focusing that arises when the critical power of relativistic self-focusing determined by the local concentration of plasma electrons exceeds the pulse power results in efficient generation of a plasma wave. Due to a decrease in the phase velocity of the wake plasma wave generated via self-modulation of the laser pulse, electrons are trapped into the accelerating phase of the plasma wave and are accelerated to energies of ~10 MeV. It is demonstrated that under the conditions for limiting the electrons' acceleration region by the length of their dephasing, quasi-monoenergetic electron bunches with a characteristic energy of ~9 MeV can be produced. The effective temperature of the accelerated electrons and their angular distribution, obtained by 3D PIC simulation, are in good agreement with those determined in the experiment.
electron acceleration, subterawatt laser pulse, nonuniform plasma, relativistic self-focusing.
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Quantum Electronics, 2019, 49:4, 307–313
V. S. Popov, N. E. Andreev, “Acceleration of electrons in the interaction of a subterawatt laser pulse with a nonuniform plasma”, Kvantovaya Elektronika, 49:4 (2019), 307–313 [Quantum Electron., 49:4 (2019), 307–313]
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