High-intensity laser-plasma interaction

The main topic I dealt with during my M.Sc. and Ph.D. research activity is the ultra-intense laser-plasma interaction.

From the very beginning of my work, during the M.Sc., I worked on the characterization with novel ultrafast optical diagnostics of laser-produced plasmas. At the ILIL laboratory of CNR, in Pisa Research Campus, I performed studies of plasma formation and expansion, after irradiation with GW-peak power laser pulses, with interferometric techniques.
The framework was the creation of plasma waveguides to counter laser defocusing in its propagation for electron acceleration purposes. The search for stable propagation conditions went further in collaboration with the Physique à Haute Intensité group of CEA/Saclay (France), with joint experiments with their 10 TW laser system.

  • Selected bibliography:
    • A. Gamucci et al., Production of hollow cylindrical plasmas for laser guiding in acceleration experiments. Appl. Phys. B, 85, 611-617 (2006)
    • A. Giulietti, M. Galimberti, A. Gamucci et al., Search for stable propagation of intense femtosecond laser pulses in gas. Laser Part. Beams, 25, 513-521 (2007)

The collaboration with french researchers of CEA/Saclay continued with the objective, succesfully pursued, of creating an efficient source of energetic electrons with the UHI-10 10 TW laser system. In 2006, high-energy electron beams were accelerated with charge greater than 1 nC in a supersonic gas-jet. Furthermore, by exploiting the bremsstrahlung radiation of the produced electrons in a high-Z material, a source of X radiation was built up, capable of radio-activating samples of nuclear interest with an unprecedented efficiency.

  • Selected bibliography:
    • A. Giulietti, N. Bourgeois, T. Ceccotti, X. Davoine, S. Dobosz, P. D'Oliveira, M. Galimberti, J. Galy, A. Gamucci et al., Intense γ-Ray Source in the Giant-Dipole-Resonance Range Driven by 10-TW Laser Pulses. Phys. Rev. Lett., 101, 105002 (2008)
    • A. Gamucci et al., Advanced Diagnostics Applied to a Laser-Driven Electron-Acceleration Experiment. IEEE Trans. Plasma Sci., 36, 1699-1706 (2008)

Finally, I also had a commitment in data analysis and evaluation concerning proton acceleration and X-ray generation in plasmas in experiment carried out by the ILIL group in Pisa and abroad.

  • Selected bibliography:
    • S. Betti, C.A. Cecchetti, E. Foerster, A. Gamucci et al., On the effect of rear-surface dielectric coatings on laser-driven proton acceleration. Phys. Plasmas 16, 100701 (2009)
    • A.Ya. Faenov, A.I. Magunov, T.A. Pikuz, I.Y. Skobelev, D. Giulietti, S. Betti, M. Galimberti, A. Gamucci et al., X-ray spectroscopic diagnostics of ultrashort laser-cluster interaction at the stage of the nonadiabatic scattering of clusters. JETP Lett., 86, 178-183 (2007)