Femtosecond-Scale Time Resolved Measurements of Intense Laser-Plasma Interactions

Lead Research Organisation: University of Strathclyde
Department Name: Physics


Research into intense laser-plasma interactions has over the past 15 years, resulted in the development of compact and intense sources of high energy electrons, protons, heavy ions, neutrons and gamma-rays. Applications for these new sources include medical imaging, ion oncology and inertial confinement fusion. Making these applications a reality however will require a deeper understanding of the underlying ultrafast dynamics of the intense laser-plasma interactions. To date, time-resolved measurements of these dynamics, on femtosecond time scales, have eluded researchers.
With this project we propose to develop, for the first time, a high-energy, short-pulse source of supercontinuum light using both national and international high-power laser facilities as well as the newly developed SCAPA facility based at Strathclyde. This intense source of supercontinuum light will enable the first femtosecond scale, multi-timeframe optical probing of intense laser-plasma interactions.
The aim of this PhD studentship is to: (1) Contribute to the design, modelling and experimental development of the supercontinuum probe. (2) Contribute to a broader experimental program investigating the underlying physics of laser-plasma interactions and their applications. (3) Contribute to the first temporally resolved laser-plasma experiments using the high energy supercontinuum optical probe technique.


10 25 50

Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/N509760/1 01/10/2016 30/09/2021
1811677 Studentship EP/N509760/1 01/10/2016 15/06/2020 Zoë Davidson
Description Through the research funded on this grant we have developed, implemented and tested a new approach to temporally resolve ultrafast micron-scale processes within laser-plasma interactions via the use of a multi-channel optical probe. We have demonstrated that this technique enables highly precise picosecond-scale time-resolved, two-dimensional spatial imaging of intense laser pulse propagation dynamics, plasma formation and laser beam filamentation within a single pulse over four distinct time frames. The design, development and optimisation of the optical probe system has been presented in publication, as well as the representative experimental results from the first implementation of the multi-channel probe with a high-power laser pulse interaction with a helium gas jet target.
Exploitation Route The multi-channel probe design can be adapted to enable femtosecond-scale temporal resolution of a single unrepeatable event with use a femtosecond laser system.
Sectors Energy,Other

URL https://doi.org/10.1364/OE.27.004416
Description Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Summer Fellowship
Amount ¥692,000 (JPY)
Organisation Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) 
Sector Public
Country Japan
Start 06/2018 
End 08/2018