Amplification and generation of ultra-intense twisted laser pulses via stimulated Raman scattering

Vieira, J and Trines, R. M. G. M. and Alves, E. P. and Fonseca, R.A. and Mendonça, J. T. and Bingham, R. and Norreys, P. and Silva, L.O. (2016) Amplification and generation of ultra-intense twisted laser pulses via stimulated Raman scattering. Nature Communications, 7. ISSN 2041-1723

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    Abstract

    Twisted Laguerre–Gaussian lasers, with orbital angular momentum and characterized by doughnut-shaped intensity profiles, provide a transformative set of tools and research directions in a growing range of fields and applications, from super-resolution microcopy and ultra-fast optical communications to quantum computing and astrophysics. The impact of twisted light is widening as recent numerical calculations provided solutions to long-standing challenges in plasma-based acceleration by allowing for high-gradient positron acceleration. The production of ultra-high-intensity twisted laser pulses could then also have a broad influence on relativistic laser–matter interactions. Here we show theoretically and with ab initio three-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations that stimulated Raman backscattering can generate and amplify twisted lasers to petawatt intensities in plasmas. This work may open new research directions in nonlinear optics and high–energy-density science, compact plasma-based accelerators and light sources.