Study of ultraintense laser propagation in overdense plasmas for fast ignition

Lei, A. L.; Tanaka, K. A.; Kodama, R.; Adumi, K.; Habara, H.; Kitagawa, Y.; Kondo, K.; Matsuoka, T.; Tanimoto, T.; Yabuuchi, T.; Mima, K.; Nagai, K.; Nagatomo, H.; Norimatsu, T.; Sawai, K.; Suzuki, K.; Yu, Wei; Xu, Han; Yang, X. Q.; Cao, L. H.
May 2009
Physics of Plasmas;May2009, Vol. 16 Issue 5, p056307
Academic Journal
Laser plasma interactions in a relativistic regime relevant to the fast ignition in inertial confinement fusion have been investigated. Ultraintense laser propagation in preformed plasmas and hot electron generation are studied. The experiments are performed using a 100 TW 0.6 ps laser and a 20 TW 0.6 ps laser synchronized by a long pulse laser. In the study, a self-focused ultraintense laser beam propagates along its axis into an overdense plasma with peak density 1022/cm3. Channel formation in the plasma is observed. The laser transmission in the overdense plasma depends on the position of its focus and can take place in plasmas with peak densities as high as 5×1022/cm3. The hot electron beams produced by the laser-plasma interaction have a divergence angle of ∼30°, which is smaller than that from laser-solid interactions. For deeper penetration of the laser light into the plasma, the use of multiple short pulse lasers is proposed. The latter scheme is investigated using particle-in-cell simulation. It is found that when the pulse duration and the interval between the pulses are appropriate, the laser pulse train can channel into the plasma deeper than a single longer pulse laser of similar peak intensity and total energy.


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