Particle Physics Seminar: Electron acceleration by high intensity lasers from solid targets

Itamar Cohen, TAU

10 June 2021, 10:00 
Particle Physics Seminar



Intense lasers made available for the first-time high-energy electron sources at university scale laboratories. For the past two decades, the community focused on optimizing the accelerated beam quality in terms of higher energy, sharper energy spectrum, and improved repeatability. A few early works identified one acceleration technique, nicknamed “the exploding foil method (EXFM),” which generate ultra-collimated, multi-MeV beams of electrons. With EXFM, a pre-pulse explodes a solid foil to form an expanding plasma plume. Nanoseconds later, the main laser pulse interacts with this undersense plasma and accelerates electrons in a highly complicated non-linear fashion. In all these works, however, the foil explosion resulted from uncontrollable precursor light native to the laser system itself. I will present a first controlled experimental investigation of the EXFM. In these experiments, we tailored the pre-plasma plume profile by varying the pre-pulse energy, and the time delay between the pre- and main-pulse. I will present our preliminary results, along with an analytical model for the plasma expansion, and discuss insights of the underlaying dynamics gained from particle-in-cell simulations. I will conclude with the prospects of using the accelerated electrons for generation and studies of photo-nuclear reactions.



Seminar Organizers: Prof. Erez Etzion & Dr. Liron Barak


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