Near-critical plasmas irradiated at ultra-high laser intensities (I > 1018W/cm2) allow to improve the performances of laser-driven particle and radiation sources and to explore scenarios of great astrophysical interest. Near-critical plasmas with controlled properties can be obtained with nanostructured low-density materials. By means of 3D Particle-In-Cell simulations, we investigate how realistic nanostructures influence the interaction of an ultra-intense laser with a plasma having a near-critical average electron density. We find that the presence of a nanostructure strongly reduces the effect of pulse polarization and enhances the energy absorbed by the ion population, while generally leading to a significant decrease of the electron temperature with respect to a homogeneous near-critical plasma. We also observe an effect of the nanostructure morphology. These results are relevant both for a fundamental understanding and for the foreseen applications of laser-plasma interaction in the near-critical regime.

Ultra-intense laser interaction with nanostructured near-critical plasmas

Fedeli, Luca;Formenti, Arianna;Cialfi, Lorenzo;Pazzaglia, Andrea;Passoni, Matteo
2018

Abstract

Near-critical plasmas irradiated at ultra-high laser intensities (I > 1018W/cm2) allow to improve the performances of laser-driven particle and radiation sources and to explore scenarios of great astrophysical interest. Near-critical plasmas with controlled properties can be obtained with nanostructured low-density materials. By means of 3D Particle-In-Cell simulations, we investigate how realistic nanostructures influence the interaction of an ultra-intense laser with a plasma having a near-critical average electron density. We find that the presence of a nanostructure strongly reduces the effect of pulse polarization and enhances the energy absorbed by the ion population, while generally leading to a significant decrease of the electron temperature with respect to a homogeneous near-critical plasma. We also observe an effect of the nanostructure morphology. These results are relevant both for a fundamental understanding and for the foreseen applications of laser-plasma interaction in the near-critical regime.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11311/1052876
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