Focusing of intense subpicosecond laser pulses in wedge targets

  • Levy M
  • Kemp A
  • Wilks S
 et al. 
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Two dimensional particle-in-cell simulations characterizing the interaction of ultraintense short pulse lasers in the range 10^{18} \leq I \leq 10^{20} W/cm^{2} with converging target geometries are presented. Seeking to examine intensity amplification in high-power laser systems, where focal spots are typically non-diffraction limited, we describe key dynamical features as the injected laser intensity and convergence angle of the target are systematically varied. We find that laser pulses are focused down to a wavelength with the peak intensity amplified by an order of magnitude beyond its vacuum value, and develop a simple model for how the peak location moves back towards the injection plane over time. This performance is sustained over hundreds of femtoseconds and scales to laser intensities beyond 10^{20} W/cm^{2} at 1 \mu m wavelength.

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  • M. C. Levy

  • A. J. Kemp

  • S. C. Wilks

  • L. Divol

  • M. G. Baring

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