The energy transfer by stimulated Brillouin backscatter from a long pump pulse (15 ps) to a short seed pulse (1 ps) has been investigated in a proof-of-principle demonstration experiment. The two pulses were both amplified in different beamlines of a Nd:glass laser system, had a central wavelength of 1054 nm and a spectral bandwidth of 2 nm, and crossed each other in an underdense plasma in a counter-propagating geometry, off-set by 10∘. It is shown that the energy transfer and the wavelength of the generated Brillouin peak depend on the plasma density, the intensity of the laser pulses, and the competition between two-plasmon decay and stimulated Raman scatter instabilities. The highest obtained energy transfer from pump to probe pulse is 2.5%, at a plasma density of 0.17ncr, and this energy transfer increases significantly with plasma density. Therefore, our results suggest that much higher efficiencies can be obtained when higher densities (above 0.25ncr) are used.
- laser–plasma interactions
- optical pulse generation and compression
- stimulated Brillouin and Raman scattering
- ultra-fast optical processes