Tailored mesoscopic plasma accelerates electrons exploiting parametric instability

Kumar, Rakesh Y and Sabui, Ratul and Gopal, R and Li, Feiyu and Sarkar, Soubhik and Trickey, William and Anand, M and Pasley, John and Sheng, Z-M and Trines, R M G M and Scott, R H H and Robinson, A P L and Sharma, V and Krishnamurthy, M (2024) Tailored mesoscopic plasma accelerates electrons exploiting parametric instability. New Journal of Physics, 26 (3). 033027. ISSN 1367-2630 (https://doi.org/10.1088/1367-2630/ad2ffc)

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Laser plasma electron acceleration from the interaction of an intense femtosecond laser pulse with an isolated microparticle surrounded by a low-density gas is studied here. Experiments presented here show that optimized plasma tailoring by introducing a pre-pulse boosts parametric instabilities to produce MeV electron energies and generates electron temperatures as large as 200 keV with the total charge being as high as 350 fC/shot/sr, even at a laser intensity of a few times 1016 Wcm−2. Corroborated by particle-in-cell simulations, these measurements reveal that two plasmon decay in the vicinity of the microparticle is the main contributor to hot electron generation.