Ultrahigh-charge electron beams from laser-irradiated solid surface

Yong Ma, Jiarui Zhao, Yifei Li, Dazhang Li, Liming Chen, Jianxun Liu, Stephen J. D. Dann, Yanyun Ma, Xiaohu Yang, Zheyi Ge, Zhengming Sheng, Jie Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
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Compact acceleration of a tightly collimated relativistic electron beam with high charge from a laser–plasma interaction has many unique applications. However, currently the well-known schemes, including laser wakefield acceleration from gases and vacuum laser acceleration from solids, often produce electron beams either with low charge or with large divergence angles. In this work, we report the generation of highly collimated electron beams with a divergence angle of a few degrees, nonthermal spectra peaked at the megaelectronvolt level, and extremely high charge (∼100 nC) via a powerful subpicosecond laser pulse interacting with a solid target in grazing incidence. Particle-in-cell simulations illustrate a direct laser acceleration scenario, in which the self-filamentation is triggered in a large-scale near–critical-density plasma and electron bunches are accelerated periodically and collimated by the ultraintense electromagnetic field. The energy density of such electron beams in high-Z materials reaches to ∼1012 J/m3, making it a promising tool to drive warm or even hot dense matter states.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6980-6985
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number27
Early online date18 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2018


  • direct laser acceleration
  • high energy density
  • laser–plasma interaction
  • near–critical-density plasma
  • ultrahigh-charge beam

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