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Prepulse and amplified spontaneous emission effects on the interaction of a petawatt class laser with thin solid targets

Esirkepov, T. Z.; Koga, J. K.; Sunahara, Atsushi*; Morita, Toshimasa; Nishikino, Masaharu; Kageyama, Kei*; Nagatomo, Hideo*; Nishihara, Katsunobu; Sagisaka, Akito; Kotaki, Hideyuki; Nakamura, Tatsufumi; Fukuda, Yuji; Okada, Hajime; Pirozhkov, A. S.; Yogo, Akifumi; Nishiuchi, Mamiko; Kiriyama, Hiromitsu; Kondo, Kiminori; Kando, Masaki; Bulanov, S. V.

When a finite contrast petawatt laser pulse irradiates a micron-thick foil, a prepulse creates a preplasma, where an ultrashort relativistically strong portion of the laser pulse acquires higher intensity due to relativistic self-focusing and undergoes fast depletion transferring energy to fast electrons. If the preplasma thickness is optimal, the main pulse can reach the target generating fast ions more efficiently than an ideal, infinite contrast, laser pulse. The optimal conditions for hundreds of MeV ion acceleration are found with accompanying effects important for diagnostics, including high-order harmonics generation.

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Category:Instruments & Instrumentation

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