Cherenkov radiation-based optical fibre diagnostics of fast electrons generated in intense laser-plasma interactions

Liu, H. and Liao, G.-Q. and Zhang, Y.-H. and Zhu, B.-J. and Zhang, Z. and Li, Y.-T. and Scott, G. G. and Rusby, D. and Armstrong, C. and Zemaityte, E. and Carroll, D.C. and Astbury, S. and Bradford, P. and Woolsey, N. and McKenna, P. and Neely, D. (2018) Cherenkov radiation-based optical fibre diagnostics of fast electrons generated in intense laser-plasma interactions. Review of Scientific Instruments. ISSN 1089-7623

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    Abstract

    Diagnosing fast electrons is important to understand the physics underpinning intense laser-produced plasmas. Here, we demonstrate experimentally that a Cherenkov radiation-based optical fibre can serve as a reliable diagnostic to characterize the fast electrons escaping from solid targets irradiated by ultra-intense laser pulses. Using optical fibre loops, the number and angular distributions of the escaping electrons are obtained. The data agrees well with measurements made using image plate stacks. The optical fibre can be operated at high-repetition rates and is insensitive to X-rays and ion beams, which makes it advantageous over other routinely-used fast electron diagnostics in some aspects.