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Rutherford Appleton Laboratory Vulcan Front End OPCPA System Stage 1 - BBO Stage 2 - BBOStage 3 - LBO Pump Laser.

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Presentation on theme: "Rutherford Appleton Laboratory Vulcan Front End OPCPA System Stage 1 - BBO Stage 2 - BBOStage 3 - LBO Pump Laser."— Presentation transcript:

1 Rutherford Appleton Laboratory Vulcan Front End OPCPA System Stage 1 - BBO Stage 2 - BBOStage 3 - LBO Pump Laser

2 Rutherford Appleton Laboratory Bandwidth ~ nm Theoretical bandwidth for this system is > 250 nm 1053 nm In previous tests (limited by bandwidth of optics) we demonstrated ~ 50 nm Actually require just 16 nm So far first 2 stages tested (unsaturated gain of 10 6 ) Need the 3rd stage for saturation and stability OPCPA Test Bandwidth

3 PW Scheme Rutherford Appleton Laboratory Focusing on target (F3.2 OAP) Compression to 500fs (1480 l/mm) Existing BuildingNew Target Area Stretch 2 x 2 pass ; 4.8 ns; 16 nm Expansion to 600 mm (19 m VSF) Pre-amp. pump 200 mJ 10 Hz X Amplification in Vulcan (85J ; 150 mm P & Si) X 450 Oscillator 5 nJ 100fs TiSa 3 ex NOVA 208 amplifiers (650J ; 208 mm) X 8 Adaptive mirror 3 - stage OPCPA 2 x BBO + LBO Rutherford Appleton Laboratory

4 Energy on target 500J Pulse duration 500 fsec Intensity on target Wcm -2 The Vulcan PW Facility Computer Schematic Vulcan PW Facility

5 Rutherford Appleton Laboratory E B k Single electron motion A single electron in the laser field exhibits a figure of eight motion due to the vxB term in the Lorentz force F = -e(E+vxB) Twice every laser cycle, electrons are accelerated in the direction of k The kinetic energy the electron acquires is roughly proportional to the ponderomotive potential At Wcm -2, kT 10 MeV.

6 Rutherford Appleton Laboratory Wave breaking of self- modulated laser wakefield demonstrated using 100 TW Vulcan facility - large energy spread. Improved electron beam quality expected with conventional laser wakefield - long focal length optics. CPA beatwave schemes also possible and will be investigated on the PW facility Self-modulated wakefield, classical wakefield and beatwave accelerators studies on the VULCAN PW facility

7 Rutherford Appleton Laboratory Accelerated electrons observed at energies up to 120 MeV MIK Santala et al. Phys. Rev. Lett, 86, 1227 (2001) In the self modulated wakefield, stimulated Raman scatter arises from noise - generating an electron plasma wave and a down-shifted electromagnetic wave. This em wave beats with the incident laser pulse, and the increased intensity in the beat-wave pattern enhances the plasma wave. Gradients of 1 GeV/cm have been measured. Eventually, the plasma wave breaks, generating a wide energy spread shown here. In the classical wakefield, the laser intensity and plasma density are reduced below the threshold for stimulated Raman scatter. In this case, the ponderomotive force expels electrons from the focus, but space charge requires that they return after the laser pulse has passed. This sets up a large amplitude (GeV/cm) oscillating longitudinal electric field that can accelerate low emittance electron bunches - provided the plasma wakefield is quasi - 1 dimensional - requires PW -class lasers with long focal lengths optics.

8 Rutherford Appleton Laboratory Beat-wave accelerators Beatwave accelerators were the first to be studied in the 1980s Two laser pulses of different frequencies are focused into a plasma gas. At a resonant density, the ponderomotive force of the induced beat pattern amplifies small density fluctuations arising from noise - and a large amplitude longitudinal electric field is set up. Nd glass operating at 1 m is better than CO 2 (10.6 m) as higher plasma densities are required - hence larger electric fields. However, if the laser pulse duration is too long, the modulation instability limits the amplitude of the plasma waves that can be generated. With chirped pulse, picosecond laser pulses, a beat-wave pattern can be induced by spectral shaping the laser pulse. The pulse duration is sufficiently short to amplify the plasma waves before the modulational instability can grow to disrupt the process. The VULCAN PW laser will be used to study this beat-wave accelerator process.

9 Astra is extremely compact, driving physics at up to Wcm -2 at 10Hz with table top scale The final amplifier will be upgraded next year to enable full energy to be delivered to TA2 Beam expander Pulse picker TiSa rod, 16mm aperture The engine for Astras high energy output is the 5J frequency doubled Nd:YAG pump laser Astra laser hall Rutherford Appleton Laboratory

10 Target chamber Vacuum pulse compressor Astra high intensity target area Rutherford Appleton Laboratory

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