Particle acceleration in ultra-intense laser plasma interactionP. Mora
Centre de Physique Théorique, École Polytechnique, CNRS, 91128 Palaiseau, France
The acceleration of electrons in laser plasma interaction has been observed since the seventies, when it was initially considered as a deleterious effect, as, in the inertial fusion context, the so-called suprathermal electrons preheat the target. However, it has been quickly observed that a large benefit could be taken from these electrons. Two main directions are now followed. In the first direction, one tries to accelerate electrons to high energy, presently in the GeV range. The electrons may originate from a pre-accelerated beam, or directly from a gas target instantaneously transformed in a plasma by the ultra-intense laser pulse. In the second direction, one tries to transfer the energy of the electrons to fast ions, especially protons, presently in the few tens of MeV range. Thin targets are used for this transformation, the electrons being accelerated at the front of the target, while the ions may originate from the front part or the back part of the target, or from inside the target, depending on the parameters of the experiment. While the maximum energy was the initial goal of the pioneer experiments, there are now strong experimental efforts to improve the quality of the beams, in terms of luminosity, emittance, and energy spectrum. In the recent years, quasi-monoenergetic beams were obtained both for electrons and for ions.
© EDP Sciences, Springer-Verlag 2009