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The generation of mono-energetic electron beams from ultrashort pulse laser-plasma interactions

Mangles, S.P.D. and Krushelnick, K. and Najmudin, Z. and Wei, M.S. and Walton, B.R. and Gopal, A. and Dangor, A.E. and Fritzler, S. and Gallacher, J.G. and Jaroszynski, D.A. and Viskup, R. (2006) The generation of mono-energetic electron beams from ultrashort pulse laser-plasma interactions. Philosophical Transactions A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 364 (1840). pp. 663-677. ISSN 1471-2962

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Abstract

The physics of the interaction of high-intensity laser pulses with underdense plasma depends not only on the interaction intensity but also on the laser pulse length. We show experimentally that as intensities are increased beyond 1020 W cm(-2) the peak electron acceleration increases beyond that which can be produced from single stage plasma wave acceleration and it is likely that direct laser acceleration mechanisms begin to play an important role. If, alternatively, the pulse length is reduced such that it approaches the plasma period of a relativistic electron plasma wave, high-power interactions at much lower intensity enable the generation of quasi-mono-energetic beams of relativistic electrons.