Ultra-bright gamma-ray emission and dense positron production from two laser-driven colliding foils

Han-Zhen Li, Tong-Pu Yu, Jin-Jin Liu, Yan Yin, Xing-Long Zhu, Remi Capdessus, Francesco Pegoraro, Zheng-Ming Sheng, Paul McKenna, Fu-Qiu Shao

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23 Citations (Scopus)
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Matter can be transferred into energy and the opposite transformation is also possible by use of high-power lasers. A laser pulse in plasma can convert its energy into γ-rays and then e −e + pairs via the multi-photon Breit-Wheeler process. Production of dense positrons at GeV energies is very challenging since extremely high laser intensity ∼ 1024 Wcm−2 is required. Here we propose an all-optical scheme for ultra-bright γ-ray emission and dense positron production with lasers at intensity of 1022−23 Wcm−2 . By irradiating two colliding elliptically-polarized lasers onto two diamondlike carbon foils, electrons in the focal region of one foil are rapidly accelerated by the laser radiation pressure and interact with the other intense laser pulse which penetrates through the second foil due to relativistically induced foil transparency. This symmetric configuration enables efficient Compton back-scattering and results in ultra-bright γ-photon emission with brightness of ∼ 1025 photons/s/mm2 /mrad2 /0.1%BW at 15 MeV and intensity of 5×1023 Wcm−2 . Our first three-dimensional simulation with quantum-electrodynamics incorporated shows that a GeV positron beam with density of 2.5×1022 cm−3 and flux of 1.6×1010/shot is achieved. Collective effects of the pair plasma may be also triggered, offering a window on investigating laboratory astrophysics at PW laser facilities.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
JournalScientific Reports
Early online date11 Dec 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Dec 2017


  • high power lasers
  • laser pulse
  • plasma
  • energy conversion


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