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Ultra-intense laser-plasma interaction for applied and fundamental physics
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Rapid progress in ultra-intense laser technology has resulted in intensity levels surpassing 1022 W/cm2, reaching the highest possible density of electromagnetic energy amongst all controlled sources available in the laboratory. During recent decades, fast growth in available intensity has stimulated numerous studies based on the use of high intensity lasers as a unique tool for the initiation of nonlinear behavior in various basic systems: first molecules and atoms, then plasma resulting from the ionization of gases and solids, and, finally, pure vacuum. Apart from their fundamental importance, these studies reveal various mechanisms for the conversion of a laser pulse's energy into other forms, opening up new possibilities for generating beams of energetic particles and radiation with tailored properties. In particular, the cheapness and compactness of laser based sources of energetic protons are expected to make a revolution in medicine and industry.

 

In this thesis we study nonlinear phenomena in the process of laser radiation interacting with plasmas of ionized targets. We develop advanced numerical tools and use them for the simulation of laser-plasma interactions in various configurations relating to both current and proposed experiments. Phenomenological analysis of numerical results helps us to reveal several new effects, understand the physics behind them and develop related theoretical models capable of making general conclusions and predictions. We develop target designs to use studied effects for charged particle acceleration and for the generation of attosecond pulses of unprecedented intensity. Finally, we analyze prospects for experimental activity at the upcoming international high intensity laser facilities and uncover a basic effect of anomalous radiative trapping, which opens up new possibilities for fundamental science.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå University , 2013. , 85 p.
Keyword [en]
ultra-intense laser, femtosecond pulse, plasma, relativistic phenomena, laser-driven acceleration, attosecond pulse generation, radiation reaction
National Category
Physical Sciences
Research subject
Physics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-84245ISBN: 978-91-7459-771-4 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-84245DiVA: diva2:681092
Public defence
2014-01-13, S312, Samhällsvetarhuset, Umeå University, Umeå, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2013-12-20 Created: 2013-12-19 Last updated: 2013-12-19Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Horizons of petawatt laser technology
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Horizons of petawatt laser technology
2011 (English)In: Physics-Uspekhi, ISSN 0042-1294, Vol. 54, no 1, 9-28 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Recent advances in the development of superpowerlasers are reviewed. A number of possibilities that the newly available petawatt-power level lasers open up in the physics of extreme light fields are discussed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Russia/United Kingdom: Institute of Physics Publishing (IOPP), 2011
National Category
Physical Sciences
Research subject
Physics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-84235 (URN)10.3367/UFNe.0181.201101b.0009 (DOI)
Available from: 2013-12-19 Created: 2013-12-19 Last updated: 2013-12-19Bibliographically approved
2. Multicascade proton acceleration by a superintense laser pulse in the regime of relativistically induced slab transparency
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Multicascade proton acceleration by a superintense laser pulse in the regime of relativistically induced slab transparency
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2009 (English)In: Physical Review Letters, ISSN 0031-9007, E-ISSN 1079-7114, Vol. 102, no 18, 184801- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The regime of multicascade proton acceleration during the interaction of a 1021–1022 W=cm2 laserpulse with a structured target is proposed. The regime is based on the electron charge displacement under the action of laser ponderomotive force and on the effect of relativistically induced slab transparency which allows realization of the idea of multicascade acceleration. It is shown that a target comprising several thin foils properly spaced apart can optimize the acceleration process and give at the output aquasi-monoenergetic beam of protons with energies up to hundreds of MeV with an energy spread of just a few percent.

National Category
Physical Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-84236 (URN)10.1103/PhysRevLett.102.184801 (DOI)000265948600033 ()
Available from: 2013-12-19 Created: 2013-12-19 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
3. Hollow microspheres as targets for staged laser-driven proton acceleration
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Hollow microspheres as targets for staged laser-driven proton acceleration
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2011 (English)In: New Journal of Physics, ISSN 1367-2630, E-ISSN 1367-2630, Vol. 13, 013030- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A coated hollow core microsphere is introduced as a novel targetin ultra-intense laser–matter interaction experiments. In particular, it facilitates staged laser-driven proton acceleration by combining conventional target normal sheath acceleration (TNSA), power recycling of hot laterally spreading electrons and staging in a very simple and cheap target geometry. During TNSA of protons from one area of the sphere surface, laterally spreading hot electrons form a charge wave. Due to the spherical geometry, this wave refocuses on the opposite side of the sphere, where an opening has been laser micromachined.This leads to a strong transient charge separation field being set up there, which can post-accelerate those TNSA protons passing through the hole at the right time. Experimentally, the feasibility of using such targets is demonstrated. A redistribution is encountered in the experimental proton energy spectra, as predicted by particle-in-cell simulations and attributed to transient fields set up by oscillating currents on the sphere surface.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Institute of Physics Publishing (IOPP), 2011
National Category
Physical Sciences
Research subject
Physics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-84242 (URN)10.1088/1367-2630/13/1/013030 (DOI)000288903600030 ()
Available from: 2013-12-19 Created: 2013-12-19 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
4. Fast electron generation using PW-class PEARL facility
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Fast electron generation using PW-class PEARL facility
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2011 (English)In: Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment, ISSN 0168-9002, E-ISSN 1872-9576, Vol. 653, no 1, 35-41 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We use a PW-class PEARL facility to study fast electron beam generation during high intensity laser pulse interaction with a supersonic gas jet. We show that electron beams with several hundreds of MeV and relatively large charges, of hundreds of pC and more, can be effectively produced without any guiding structures. PIC simulations also confirm the obtained experimental data and provide optimized conditions of laser–plasma interaction for high-charged beam production.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Saunders Elsevier, 2011
National Category
Physical Sciences
Research subject
Physics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-84243 (URN)10.1016/j.nima.2011.01.180 (DOI)000295663800008 ()
Available from: 2013-12-19 Created: 2013-12-19 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
5. Laser wakefield acceleration using wire produced double density ramps
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Laser wakefield acceleration using wire produced double density ramps
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2013 (English)In: Physical Review Special Topics. Accelerators and Beams, ISSN 1098-4402, E-ISSN 1098-4402, Vol. 16, no 1, 011301- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A novel approach to implement and control electron injection into the accelerating phase of a laser wakefield accelerator is presented. It utilizes a wire, which is introduced into the flow of a supersonic gas jet creating shock waves and three regions of differing plasma electron density. If tailored appropriately, the laser plasma interaction takes place in three stages: Laser self-compression, electron injection, and acceleration in the second plasma wave period. Compared to self-injection by wave breaking of a nonlinear plasma wave in a constant density plasma, this scheme increases beam charge by up to 1 order of magnitude in the quasimonoenergetic regime. Electron acceleration in the second plasma wave period reduces electron beam divergence by ≈25%, and the localized injection at the density downramps results in spectra with less than a few percent relative spread.

National Category
Fusion, Plasma and Space Physics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-67309 (URN)10.1103/PhysRevSTAB.16.011301 (DOI)000313337800001 ()
Available from: 2013-03-19 Created: 2013-03-15 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
6. Ultrarelativistic nanoplasmonics as a route towards extreme-intensity attosecond pulses
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Ultrarelativistic nanoplasmonics as a route towards extreme-intensity attosecond pulses
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2011 (English)In: Physical Review E. Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics, ISSN 1539-3755, E-ISSN 1550-2376, Vol. 84, no 4, 046403- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The generation of ultrastrong attosecond pulses through laser-plasma interactions offers the opportunity to surpass the intensity of any known laboratory radiation source, giving rise to new experimental possibilities, such as quantum electrodynamical tests and matter probing at extremely short scales. Here we demonstrate that a laser irradiated plasma surface can act as an efficient converter from the femto- to the attosecond range, giving a dramatic rise in pulse intensity. Although seemingly similar schemes have been described in the literature, the present setup differs significantly from the previous attempts. We present a model describing the nonlinear process of relativistic laser-plasma interaction. This model, which is applicable to a multitude of phenomena, is shown to be in excellent agreement with particle-in-cell simulations. The model makes it possible to determine a parameter region where the energy conversion from the femto- to the attosecond regime is maximal. Based on the study we propose a concept of laser pulse interaction with a target having a groove-shaped surface, which opens up the potential to exceed an intensity level of 10(26) W/cm(2) and observe effects due to nonlinear quantum electrodynamics with upcoming laser sources.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Melville, N.Y.: American Physical Society through the American Institute of Physics, 2011
National Category
Physical Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-49961 (URN)10.1103/PhysRevE.84.046403 (DOI)000296516400005 ()
Available from: 2011-11-23 Created: 2011-11-22 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved
7. Probing nonperturbative QED with optimally focused laser pulses
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Probing nonperturbative QED with optimally focused laser pulses
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2013 (English)In: Physical Review Letters, ISSN 0031-9007, E-ISSN 1079-7114, Vol. 111, no 6, 060404- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We study nonperturbative pair production in intense, focused laser fields called e-dipole pulses. We address the conditions required, such as the quality of the vacuum, for reaching high intensities without initiating beam-depleting cascades, the number of pairs which can be created, and experimental detection of the created pairs. We find that e-dipole pulses offer an optimal method of investigating nonperturbative QED.

National Category
Physical Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-79634 (URN)10.1103/PhysRevLett.111.060404 (DOI)000322921200002 ()
Available from: 2013-08-27 Created: 2013-08-27 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
8. Anomalous radiative trapping in laser fields of extreme intensity
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Anomalous radiative trapping in laser fields of extreme intensity
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2014 (English)In: Physical Review Letters, ISSN 0031-9007, E-ISSN 1079-7114, Vol. 113, 014801- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We demonstrate that charged particles in a suciently intense standing wave are compressed toward, and oscillate synchronously at, the antinodes of the electric eld. We call this unusualbehaviour `anomalous radiative trapping' (ART). We show using dipole pulses, which oer a pathto increased laser intensity, that ART opens up new possibilities for the generation of radiationand particle beams, both of which are high-energy, directed and collimated. ART also provides a mechanism for particle control in high-intensity quantum-electrodynamics experiments.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
American Physical Society, 2014
Keyword
accelerators; plasma; physics
National Category
Physical Sciences
Research subject
Physics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-84244 (URN)10.1103/PhysRevLett.113.014801 (DOI)000338665200013 ()
Available from: 2013-12-19 Created: 2013-12-19 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved

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