Intense laser pulse amplification using Raman backscatter in plasma channels

P. Mardahl, H. J. Lee, G. Penn, J. S. Wurtele, N. J. Fisch

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


It has been proposed that the Raman backscatter interaction in a plasma can be used to amplify ultra-intense laser pulses. To accomplish this, energy is transferred from a long drive pulse at frequency wpump to an intense seed pulse at frequency wseed, with a Langmuir plasma wave at frequency wp mediating the transfer; the frequencies are chosen to satisfy the resonant condition wp = wpump - wseed. Diffraction of the pulses limits the interaction length in a uniform plasma, and hence the energy transfer between the pulses. However in a parabolic plasma density channel it is shown, through two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations, that such a plasma channel can be used to guide both the amplified and drive pulses over an interaction distance much greater than a diffraction length. The seed pulse is amplified by a factor of more than 200 in energy for pulses whose widths are matched to the channel size, and achieve a peak intensity of more than 6 × 1017 W/cm2. Unmatched pump pulses are seen to generate much smaller gain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-116
Number of pages8
JournalPhysics Letters, Section A: General, Atomic and Solid State Physics
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Apr 15 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


  • Laser
  • Plasma
  • Raman backscatter


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