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An ultra-high gain and efficient amplifier based on Raman amplification in plasma

Vieux, G. and Cipiccia, S. and Grant, D. W. and Lemos, N. and Grant, P. and Ciocarlan, C. and Ersfeld, B. and Hur, M. S. and Lepipas, P. and Manahan, G. G. and Raj, G. and Reboredo Gil, D. and Subiel, A. and Welsh, G. H. and Wiggins, S. M. and Yoffe, S. R. and Farmer, J. P. and Aniculaesei, C. and Brunetti, E. and Yang, X. and Heathcote, R. and Nersisyan, G. and Lewis, C. L. S. and Pukhov, A. and Dias, J. M. and Jaroszynski, D. A. (2017) An ultra-high gain and efficient amplifier based on Raman amplification in plasma. Scientific Reports, 7. pp. 1-10. ISSN 2045-2322

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Abstract

Raman amplification arising from the excitation of a density echelon in plasma could lead to amplifiers that significantly exceed current power limits of conventional laser media. Here we show that 1–100 J pump pulses can amplify picojoule seed pulses to nearly joule level. The extremely high gain also leads to significant amplification of backscattered radiation from "noise", arising from stochastic plasma fluctuations that competes with externally injected seed pulses, which are amplified to similar levels at the highest pump energies. The pump energy is scattered into the seed at an oblique angle with 14 J sr−1, and net gains of more than eight orders of magnitude. The maximum gain coefficient, of 180 cm−1, exceeds high-power solid-state amplifying media by orders of magnitude. The observation of a minimum of 640 J sr−1 directly backscattered from noise, corresponding to ≈10% of the pump energy in the observation solid angle, implies potential overall efficiencies greater than 10%.