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Proposed beatwave experiment at RAL with the Vulcan CPA laser

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9 Author(s)
Neely, D. ; Central Laser Facility, Rutherford Appleton Lab., Chilton, UK ; Collier, J.L. ; Allott, R. ; Danson, C.N.
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A chirped pulse amplification (CPA) laser configuration capable of driving a plasma beat wave into saturation before modulation instabilities can grow is reported. The proposal is based on generating a single sub-ps, broad bandwidth pulse (~16 nm) and stretching and filtering to select two wavelength components (separation ~7 nm). The two spectral components are temporally stretched (to >100 ps) and separated (by ~1 ns). The pulses are then amplified sequentially in a single Nd:glass chain to greater than 15 J per pulse. Using a single-pass reflective grating compressor, the pulses are compressed (from 2 to 5 ps) and automatically synchronized. The system is capable of introducing a chirp, such that the compressed pulses can compensate for relativistic detuning of the plasma wave. The optimum laser amplification and recombination configuration for generating a saturated laser-driven beatwave is presented, and options for future work are discussed

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Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:28 ,  Issue: 4 )