Meter-Scale, Conditioned Hydrodynamic Optical-Field-Ionized Plasma Channels

Picksley, A, Alejo, A, Shalloo, RJ, Arran, C, Boetticher, A von, Corner, L ORCID: 0000-0002-3882-1272, Holloway, JA, Jonnerby, J, Jakobsson, O, Thornton, C
et al (show 2 more authors) (2020) Meter-Scale, Conditioned Hydrodynamic Optical-Field-Ionized Plasma Channels. Physical Review E: Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics.

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We demonstrate through experiments and numerical simulations that low-density, low-loss, meter-scale plasma channels can be generated by employing a conditioning laser pulse to ionize the neutral gas collar surrounding a hydrodynamic optical-field-ionized (HOFI) plasma channel. We use particle-in-cell simulations to show that the leading edge of the conditioning pulse ionizes the neutral gas collar to generate a deep, low-loss plasma channel which guides the bulk of the conditioning pulse itself as well as any subsequently injected pulses. In proof-of-principle experiments we generate conditioned HOFI (CHOFI) waveguides with axial electron densities of $n_\mathrm{e0} \approx 1 \times 10^{17} \; \mathrm{cm^{-3}}$, and a matched spot size of $26 \; \mathrm{\mu m}$. The power attenuation length of these CHOFI channels is $L_\mathrm{att} = (21 \pm 3) \; \mathrm{m}$, more than two orders of magnitude longer than achieved by HOFI channels. Hydrodynamic and particle-in-cell simulations demonstrate that meter-scale CHOFI waveguides with attenuation lengths exceeding 1 m could be generated with a total laser pulse energy of only $1.2$ J per meter of channel. The properties of CHOFI channels are ideally suited to many applications in high-intensity light-matter interactions, including multi-GeV plasma accelerator stages operating at high pulse repetition rates.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: 12 pages, 9 figures
Uncontrolled Keywords: physics.acc-ph, physics.acc-ph, physics.plasm-ph
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 01 Sep 2020 10:49
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2023 23:35
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.102.053201
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