Generation of GeV positron and γ-photon beams with controllable angular momentum by intense lasers

Xing-Long Zhu, Tong-Pu Yu, Min Chen, Su-Ming Weng, Zheng-Ming Sheng

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32 Citations (Scopus)
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Although several laser–plasma-based methods have been proposed for generating energetic electrons, positrons and γ-photons, manipulation of their microstructures is still challenging, and their angular momentum control has not yet been achieved. Here, we present and numerically demonstrate an all-optical scheme to generate bright GeV γ-photon and positron beams with controllable angular momentum by use of two counter-propagating circularly-polarized lasers in a near-critical-density plasma. The plasma acts as a 'switching medium', where the trapped electrons first obtain angular momentum from the drive laser pulse and then transfer it to the γ-photons via nonlinear Compton scattering. Further through the multiphoton Breit–Wheeler process, dense energetic positron beams are efficiently generated, whose angular momentum can be well controlled by laser–plasma interactions. This opens up a promising and feasible way to produce ultra-bright GeV γ-photons and positron beams with desirable angular momentum for a wide range of scientific research and applications.
Original languageEnglish
Article number083013
Number of pages11
JournalNew Journal of Physics
Early online date9 Aug 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 Aug 2018


  • electron–positron plasmas
  • gamma-ray generation in plasmas
  • high intensity laser–plasma interactions
  • angular momentum transfer
  • radiation-dominated regime


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