We report on enhanced laser driven electron beam generation in the multi MeV energy range that promises a tremendous increase of the diagnostic potential of high energy sub-PW and PW-class laser systems. In the experiment, an intense sub-picosecond laser pulse of ∼1019 Wcm−2 intensity propagates through a plasma of near critical electron density (NCD) and drives the direct laser acceleration (DLA) of plasma electrons. Low-density polymer foams were used for the production of hydrodynamically stable long-scale NCD-plasmas. Measurements show that relativistic electrons generated in the DLA-process propagate within a half angle of 12 ± 1◦ to the laser axis. Inside this divergence cone, an effective electron temperature of 10-13 MeV and a maximum of the electron energy of 100 MeV were reached. The high laser energy conversion efficiency into electrons with energies above 2 MeV achieved 23% with a total charge approaching 1 µC. For application purposes, we used the nuclear activation method to characterize the MeV bremsstrahlung spectrum produced in the interaction of the high-current relativistic electrons with high-Z samples and measured top yields of gamma-driven nuclear reactions. The optimization of the high-Z target geometry predicts an ultra-high MeV photon number of ∼1012 per shot at moderate relativistic laser intensity of 1019 Wcm−2. A good agreement between the experimental data and the results of the 3D-PIC and GEANT4-simulations was demonstrated.

High-current laser-driven beams of relativistic electrons for high energy density research

Consoli F.;
2020

Abstract

We report on enhanced laser driven electron beam generation in the multi MeV energy range that promises a tremendous increase of the diagnostic potential of high energy sub-PW and PW-class laser systems. In the experiment, an intense sub-picosecond laser pulse of ∼1019 Wcm−2 intensity propagates through a plasma of near critical electron density (NCD) and drives the direct laser acceleration (DLA) of plasma electrons. Low-density polymer foams were used for the production of hydrodynamically stable long-scale NCD-plasmas. Measurements show that relativistic electrons generated in the DLA-process propagate within a half angle of 12 ± 1◦ to the laser axis. Inside this divergence cone, an effective electron temperature of 10-13 MeV and a maximum of the electron energy of 100 MeV were reached. The high laser energy conversion efficiency into electrons with energies above 2 MeV achieved 23% with a total charge approaching 1 µC. For application purposes, we used the nuclear activation method to characterize the MeV bremsstrahlung spectrum produced in the interaction of the high-current relativistic electrons with high-Z samples and measured top yields of gamma-driven nuclear reactions. The optimization of the high-Z target geometry predicts an ultra-high MeV photon number of ∼1012 per shot at moderate relativistic laser intensity of 1019 Wcm−2. A good agreement between the experimental data and the results of the 3D-PIC and GEANT4-simulations was demonstrated.
Direct laser acceleration
Long-scale plasma channel
Low-density polymer aerogels
Near critical electron density plasmas
Nuclear reaction yields
Relativistically intense laser pulses
Super-ponderomotive electrons
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12079/56745
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