Generation of overdense and high-energy electron-positron-pair plasmas by irradiation of a thin foil with two ultraintense lasers

H.X. Chang, B Qiao, Z Xu, X.R. Xu, C.T. Zhou, X.Q. Yan, S.Z. Wu, Marco Borghesi, Matthew Zepf, X.T. He

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Abstract

A scheme for enhanced quantum electrodynamics (QED) production of electron-positron-pair plasmas is proposed that uses two ultraintense lasers irradiating a thin solid foil from opposite sides. In the scheme, under a proper matching condition, in addition to the skin-depth emission of gamma-ray photons and Breit-Wheeler creation of pairs on each side of the foil, a large number of high-energy electrons and photons from one side can propagate through it and interact with the laser on the other side, leading to much enhanced gamma-ray emission and pair production. More importantly, the created pairs can be collected later and confined to the center by opposite laser radiation pressures when the foil becomes transparent, resulting in the formation of unprecedentedly overdense and high-energy pair plasmas. Two-dimensional QED particle-in-cell simulations show that electron-positron-pair plasmas with overcritical density 10(22) cm(-3) and a high energy of 100s of MeV are obtained with 10 PW lasers at intensities 10(23) W/cm(2), which are of key significance for laboratory astrophysics studies.
Original languageEnglish
Article number053107
Number of pages6
JournalPhysical Review E
Volume92
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Nov 2015

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