Mitigating parametric instabilities in plasmas by sunlight-like lasers

Ma, H. H. and Li, X. F. and Weng, S. M. and Yew, S. H. and Kawata, S. and Gibbon, P. and Sheng, Z. M. and Zhang, J. (2021) Mitigating parametric instabilities in plasmas by sunlight-like lasers. Matter and Radiation at Extremes, 6 (5). 055902. ISSN 2468-2047 (

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Sunlight-like lasers that have a continuous broad frequency spectrum, random phase spectrum, and random polarization are formulated theoretically. With a sunlight-like laser beam consisting of a sequence of temporal speckles, the resonant three-wave coupling that underlies parametric instabilities in laser–plasma interactions can be greatly degraded owing to the limited duration of each speckle and the frequency shift between two adjacent speckles. The wave coupling can be further weakened by the random polarization of such beams. Numerical simulations demonstrate that the intensity threshold of stimulated Raman scattering in homogeneous plasmas can be doubled by using a sunlight-like laser beam with a relative bandwidth of ∼1% as compared with a monochromatic laser beam. Consequently, the hot-electron generation harmful to inertial confinement fusion can be effectively controlled by using sunlight-like laser drivers. Such drivers may be realized in the next generation of broadband lasers by combining two or more broadband beams with independent phase spectra or by applying polarization smoothing to a single broadband beam.