Plasma scale-length effects on electron energy spectra in high-irradiance laser plasmas

Culfa, O. and Tallents, G.J. and Rossall, A.K. and Wagenaars, E. and Ridgers, C. P. and Murphy, C.D. and Dance, R. J. and Gray, R. J. and McKenna, P. and Brown, C.D.R and James, S.F. and Hoarty, D.J. and Booth, N. and Robinson, A.P.L. and Lancaster, K.L. and Pikuz, S.A. and Faenov, A. Ya and Kampfer, T. and Schulze, K. S. and Uschmann, I. and Woolsey, N.C. (2016) Plasma scale-length effects on electron energy spectra in high-irradiance laser plasmas. Physical Review E, 93 (4). ISSN 1539-3755

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    Abstract

    An analysis of an electron spectrometer used to characterize fast electrons generated by ultraintense (1020Wcm−2) laser interaction with a preformed plasma of scale length measured by shadowgraphy is presented. The effects of fringing magnetic fields on the electron spectral measurements and the accuracy of density scale-length measurements are evaluated. 2D EPOCH PIC code simulations are found to be in agreement with measurements of the electron energy spectra showing that laser filamentation in plasma preformed by a prepulse is important with longer plasma scale lengths (>8 μm).