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Coherent control of plasma dynamics by feedback-optimized wavefront manipulation

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  • Z. -H. He
  • B. Hou
  • G. Gao
  • V. Lebailly
  • J. A. Nees
  • R. Clarke
  • K. Krushelnick
  • A. G. R. Thomas
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Article number056704
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>05/2015
<mark>Journal</mark>Physics of Plasmas
Issue number5
Volume22
Number of pages8
<mark>State</mark>Published
Early online date15/05/15
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Plasmas generated by an intense laser pulse can support coherent structures such as large amplitude wakefield that can affect the outcome of an experiment. We investigate the coherent control of plasma dynamics by feedback-optimized wavefront manipulation using a deformable mirror. The experimental outcome is directly used as feedback in an evolutionary algorithm for optimization of the phase front of the driving laser pulse. In this paper, we applied this method to two different experiments: (i) acceleration of electrons in laser driven plasma waves and (ii) self-compression of optical pulses induced by ionization nonlinearity. The manipulation of the laser wavefront leads to orders of magnitude improvement to electron beam properties such as the peak charge, beam divergence, and transverse emittance. The demonstration of coherent control for plasmas opens new possibilities for future laser-based accelerators and their applications. (c) 2015 AIP Publishing LLC.