Generation of relativistic electron (RE) beams during ultraintense laser pulse interaction with plasma targets is studied by collisional particle-in-cell simulations. A strong magnetic field with a transverse scale length of several local plasma skin depths, associated with RE current propagation in the target, is generated by filamentation instability in collisional plasmas, inducing a great enhancement of the divergence of REs compared to that of collisionless cases. Such an effect is increased with laser intensity and target charge state, suggesting that the RE divergence might be improved by using low-Z materials under appropriate laser intensities in future fast ignition experiments and in other applications of laser-driven electron beams.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Condensed Matter Physics