Progress on developing a plasma amplifier/compressor based on stimulated Raman scattering of nanosecond laser pulses is reported. Generation of a millijoule seed pulse at a wavelength that is redshifted relative to the pump beam has been achieved using an external Raman gas cell. By interacting the shifted picosecond seed pulse and the nanosecond pump pulse in a gas jet plasma at a density of ∼109cm-3, the upper limit of the pump intensity to avoid angular spray of the amplified seed has been determined. The Raman amplification has been studied as a function of the pump and seed intensities. Although the heating of plasma by the nanosecond pump pulse results in strong Landau damping of the plasma wave, an amplified pulse with an energy of up to 14 mJ has been demonstrated, which is, to the best of our knowledge, the highest output energy so far by Raman amplification in a plasma. One-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations indicate that the saturation of amplification is consistent with onset of particle trapping, which might be overcome by employing a shorter seed pulse.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Condensed Matter Physics