The propagation of an intense laser pulse in an under-dense plasma induces a plasma wake that is suitable for the acceleration of electrons to relativistic energies. For an ultra-intense laser pulse which has a longitudinal size shorter than the plasma wavelength, γp, instead of a periodic plasma wave, a cavity free from cold plasma electrons, called a bubble, is formed behind the laser pulse. An intense charge separation electric field inside the moving bubble can capture the electrons at the base of the bubble and accelerate them with a narrow energy spread. In the nonlinear bubble regime, due to localized depletion at the front of the pulse during its propagation through the plasma, the phase shift between carrier waves and pulse envelope plays an important role in plasma response. The carrierenvelope phase (CEP) breaks down the symmetric transverse ponderomotive force of the laser pulse that makes the bubble structure unstable. Our studies using a series of two-dimensional (2D) particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations show that the frequency-chirped laser pulses are more effective in controlling the pulse depletion rate and consequently the effect of the CEP in the bubble regime. The results indicate that the utilization of a positively chirped laser pulse leads to an increase in rate of erosion of the leading edge of the pulse that rapidly results in the formation of a steep intensity gradient at the front of the pulse. A more unstable bubble structure, the self-injections in different positions, and high dark current are the results of using a positively chirped laser pulse. For a negatively chirped laser pulse, the pulse depletion process is compensated during the propagation of the pulse in plasma in such a way that results in a more stable bubble shape and therefore, a localized electron bunch is produced during the acceleration process. As a result, by the proper choice of chirping, one can tune the number of self-injected electrons, the size of accelerated bunch and its energy spectrum to the values required for practical applications.
- bubble regime
- plasma wake field
- positively chirped laser pulse
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)