A robust plasma-based laser amplifier via stimulated Brillouin scattering

E P Alves, R M G M Trines, K A Humphrey, R Bingham, R A Cairns, F Fiúza, R A Fonseca, L O Silva

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Abstract

Brillouin amplification in plasma is more resilient to fluctuations in the laser and plasma parameters than Raman amplification, making it an attractive alternative to Raman amplification. In this work, we focus on high plasma densities, n0>ncr/4 , where stimulated Raman scattering is not possible and laser beam filamentation is the dominant competing process. Through analytic theory and multi-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations, we identify a parameter regime for which Brillouin amplification can be efficient while maintaining filamentation of the probe at a controlled level. We demonstrate pump-to-probe compression ratios of up to 72 and peak amplified probe fluences over 1 kJ cm−2 with ≃50% efficiency. High pulse quality is maintained through control of parasitic filamentation, enabling operation at large beam diameters. Provided the pump and probe pulse diameters can be increased to 1 mm, our results suggest that Brillouin amplification can be used to produce sub-picosecond pulses of petawatt power.
Original languageEnglish
Article number114004
Number of pages8
JournalPlasma Physics and Controlled Fusion
Volume63
Issue number11
Early online date11 Oct 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2021

Keywords

  • Brillouin amplification
  • parametric instabilities
  • laser-plasma interactions
  • high energy density physics

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