Shaped liquid drops generate MeV temperature electron beams with millijoule class laser

Mondal, Angana and Sabui, Ratul and Tata, Sheroy and Trines, R. M. G. M. and Rahul, S. V. and Li, Feiyu and Sarkar, Soubhik and Trickey, William and Kumar, Rakesh Y. and Rajak, Debobrata and Pasley, John and Sheng, Zhengming and Jha, Jagannath and Anand, M. and Gopal, Ram and Robinson, A. P. L. and Krishnamurthy, M. (2024) Shaped liquid drops generate MeV temperature electron beams with millijoule class laser. Communications Physics, 7 (1). 85. ISSN 2399-3650 (

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MeV temperature electrons are typically generated at laser intensities of 1018 W cm−2. Their generation at non-relativistic intensities (~1016 W cm−2) with high repetition rate lasers is cardinal for the realization of compact, ultra-fast electron sources. Here we report a technique of dynamic target structuring of micro-droplets using a 1 kHz, 25 fs, millijoule class laser, that uses two collinear laser pulses; the first to create a concave surface in the liquid drop and the second, to dynamically-drive electrostatic plasma waves that accelerate electrons to MeV energies. The acceleration mechanism, identified as two plasmon decay instability, is shown to generate two beams of electrons with hot electron temperature components of 200 keV and 1 MeV, respectively, at an intensity of 4 × 1016 Wcm−2, only. The electron beams are demonstrated to be ideal for single shot high resolution (tens of μm) electron radiography.