Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Laser Wakefield diagnostic using holographic longitudinal interferometry
- Author(s): Volfbeyn, P.
- Esarey, E.
- Leemans, W.P.
- et al.
We propose a diagnostic technique for wakefield measurement in plasma channels. A new technique for plasma channel creation, the Ignitor Heater scheme was proposed and experimentally tested in hydrogen and nitrogen previously. It makes use of two laser pulses. The Ignitor,an ultrashort (sub 100 fs) laser pulse, is brought to a line focus using a cylindrical lens to ionize the gas. The Heater pulse (160 ps long) is used to heat the existing spark via in-verse Bremsstrahlung. The hydrodynamic shock expansion creates a partially evacuated plasma channel with a density minimum on axis. Such a channel has properties of an optical waveguide. This technique allows creation of plasma channels in low atomic number gases, such as hydrogen, which is of importance for guiding of highly intense laser pulses. Laser pulses injected into such plasma channels produce a plasma wake that has a phase velocity close to the speed of light. A discussion of plasma wake measurements, using a Longitudinal Interferometry Wakefield Diagnostic Based on Time Domain Rayleigh Refractometry with Holographic Inversion, will be presented.