Optical components for laser beams with high peak and averaged powers are being developed worldwide using stimulated plasma scattering that occurs when plasmas interact with intense, coherent light. After decades of pursuit of pulse compressors, mirrors, and other plasma based components that can be created by stimulated scattering from electron density perturbations forming on ultra-short time scales (e.g., via Stimulated Raman Scattering), more recent work has produced optical components on longer time scales allowing ion motion as well [via Stimulated Brillouin Scattering (SBS)]. In the most recent work, ion wave plasma optics have had success in producing pulses of focusable coherent light with high energy and fluence by operating on ns time scales and now promise to enable numerous applications. Experiments have further shown that in some parameter regimes, even simple plasma response models can describe the output of such optics with sufficient accuracy that they can be used as engineering tools to design plasma optics for future applications, as is already being done to control power deposition in fusion targets. In addition, the development of more sophisticated models promises to enable still higher performance from SBS driven plasma optical components under a wider range of conditions. The present status and most promising directions for future development of ion wave plasma optic techniques are discussed here.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)