A plasma-based resonant backward Raman amplifier/compressor for high power amplification of short laser pulses might, under ideal conditions, convert as much as 90% of the pump energy to the seed pulse. While the theoretical highest possible efficiency of this scheme has not yet been achieved, larger efficiencies than ever before obtained experimentally (6.4%) are now being reported, and these efficiencies are accompanied by strong pulse compression. Based on these recent extensive experiments, it is now possible to deduce that the experimentally realized efficiency of the amplifier is likely constrained by two factors, namely the pump chirp and the plasma wavebreaking, and that these experimental observations may likely involve favorable compensation between the chirp of the laser and the density variation of the mediating plasma. Several methods for further improvement of the amplifier efficiency in current experiments are suggested.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Condensed Matter Physics