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Proceedings Paper

Off-harmonic optical probing of high-intensity laser interaction with hydrogen targets using a stand-alone probe laser system (Conference Presentation)
Author(s): Karl Zeil; Constantin Bernert; Stephan Kraft; Markus Löser; Josefine Metzkes-Ng; Lieselotte Obst-Huebl; Martin Rehwald; Mathias Siebold; Tim Ziegler; Ulrich Schramm

Paper Abstract

The development of high-intensity short-pulse lasers in the Petawatt regime offers the possibility to design new compact accelerator schemes by utilizing high-density targets for the generation of ion beams with multiple 10 MeV energy per nucleon. The optimization of the acceleration process demands comprehensive exploration of the plasma dynamics involved, for example via spatially and temporally resolved optical probing. Experimental results can then be compared to numerical particle-in-cell simulations, which is particularly sensible in the case of cryogenic hydrogen jet targets [1]. However, strong plasma self-emission and conversion of the plasma’s drive laser wavelength into its harmonics often masks the interaction region and interferes with the data analysis. Recently, the development of a stand-alone and synchronized probe laser system for off-harmonic probing at the DRACO laser operated at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden–Rossendorf showed promising performance [2]. Here, we present an updated stand-alone probe laser system applying a compact CPA system based on a synchronized fs mode-locked oscillator operating at 1030 nm, far off the plasma’s drive laser wavelength of 800 nm. A chirped volume Bragg grating (Optigrate Corp) is used as a hybrid stretcher and compressor unit. The system delivers 160 fs pulses with a maximum energy of 0.9 mJ. By deploying the upgraded probe laser system in the laser-proton acceleration experiment with the renewable cryogenic hydrogen jet target, the plasma self-emission could be significantly suppressed while studying the temporal evolution of the expanding plasma jet. Recorded probe images resemble those of z-pinch experiments with metal wires and indicate a sausage-like instability along the jet axis, which will be discussed. References [1] L. Obst, et al. Efficient laser-driven proton acceleration from cylindrical and planar cryogenic hydrogen jets. Sci. Rep., 7:10248, 2017. [2] T. Ziegler, et al. Optical probing of high intensity laser interaction with micron-sized cryogenic hydrogen jets. Plasma Phys. Control. Fusion, 2018. doi:10.1088/1361-6587/ aabf4f. [3] C.P. João, et al. Dispersion compensation by two-stage stretching in a sub-400 fs, 1.2 mJ Yb:CaF2 amplifier. Opt. Express, 22:10097–10104, 2014.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 May 2019
Proc. SPIE 11037, Laser Acceleration of Electrons, Protons, and Ions V, 1103704 (14 May 2019); doi: 10.1117/12.2520884
Show Author Affiliations
Karl Zeil, Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf e. V. (Germany)
Constantin Bernert, Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf e. V. (Germany)
Stephan Kraft, Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf e. V. (Germany)
Markus Löser, Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf e. V. (Germany)
Josefine Metzkes-Ng, Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf e. V. (Germany)
Lieselotte Obst-Huebl, Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf e. V. (Germany)
Martin Rehwald, Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf e. V. (Germany)
Mathias Siebold, Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf e. V. (Germany)
Tim Ziegler, Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf e. V. (Germany)
Ulrich Schramm, Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf e. V. (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 11037:
Laser Acceleration of Electrons, Protons, and Ions V
Eric Esarey; Carl B. Schroeder; Jörg Schreiber, Editor(s)

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