Unraveling resistive versus collisional contributions to relativistic electron beam stopping power in cold-solid and in warm-dense plasmas

Vauzour, B. and Debayle, A. and Vaisseau, X. and Hulin, S. and Schlenvoigt, Hans-Peter and Batani, D. and Baton, S.D. and Honrubia, J. J. and Nicolai, Ph. and Beg, F.N. and Benocci, R. and Chawla, S. and Coury, Mireille and Dorchies, F. and Fourment, C. and d'Humieres, E. and Jarrot, L. C. and McKenna, Paul and Rhee, Y. J. and Tikhonchuk, V. T. and Volpe, L. and Yahia, V. and Santos, J. J. (2014) Unraveling resistive versus collisional contributions to relativistic electron beam stopping power in cold-solid and in warm-dense plasmas. Physics of Plasmas, 21 (3). 033101. ISSN 1070-664X (https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4867187)

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We present results on laser-driven relativistic electron beam propagation through aluminum samples, which are either solid and cold or compressed and heated by laser-induced shock. A full numerical description of fast electron generation and transport is found to reproduce the experimental absolute Kα yield and spot size measurements for varying target thicknesses, and to sequentially quantify the collisional and resistive electron stopping powers. The results demonstrate that both stopping mechanisms are enhanced in compressed Al samples and are attributed to the increase in the medium density and resistivity, respectively. For the achieved time- and space-averaged electronic current density, ⟨jh⟩∼8×1010 A/cm2 in the samples, the collisional and resistive stopping powers in warm and compressed Al are estimated to be 1.5 keV/μm and 0.8 keV/μm , respectively. By contrast, for cold and solid Al, the corresponding estimated values are 1.1 keV/μm and 0.6 keV/μm . Prospective numerical simulations involving higher jh show that the resistive stopping power can reach the same level as the collisional one. In addition to the effects of compression, the effect of the transient behavior of the resistivity of Al during relativistic electron beam transport becomes progressively more dominant, and for a significantly high current density, jh∼1012 A/cm2 , cancels the difference in the electron resistive stopping power (or the total stopping power in units of areal density) between solid and compressed samples. Analytical calculations extend the analysis up to jh=1014 A/cm2 (representative of the full-scale fast ignition scenario of inertial confinement fusion), where a very rapid transition to the Spitzer resistivity regime saturates the resistive stopping power, averaged over the electron beam duration, to values of ∼1 keV/μm .