Low-noise time-resolved optical sensing of electromagnetic pulses from petawatt laser-matter interactions

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Title: Low-noise time-resolved optical sensing of electromagnetic pulses from petawatt laser-matter interactions
Authors: Robinson, TS
Consoli, F
Giltrap, S
Eardley, S
Hicks, G
Ditter, E
Ettlinger, O
Stuart, N
Notley, M
De Angelis, R
Najmudin, Z
Smith, R
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: We report on the development and deployment of an optical diagnostic for single-shot measurement of the electric-field components of electromagnetic pulses from high-intensity laser-matter interactions in a high-noise environment. The electro-optic Pockels effect in KDP crystals was used to measure transient electric fields using a geometry easily modifiable for magnetic field detection via Faraday rotation. Using dielectric sensors and an optical fibre-based readout ensures minimal field perturbations compared to conductive probes and greatly limits unwanted electrical pickup between probe and recording system. The device was tested at the Vulcan Petawatt facility with 1020 W cm−2 peak intensities, the first time such a diagnostic has been used in this regime. The probe crystals were located ~1.25 m from target and did not require direct view of the source plasma. The measured signals compare favourably with previously reported studies from Vulcan, in terms of the maximum measured intra-crystal field of 10.9 kV/m, signal duration and detected frequency content which was found to match the interaction chamber’s horizontal-plane fundamental harmonics of 76 and 101 MHz. Methods for improving the diagnostic for future use are also discussed in detail. Orthogonal optical probes offer a low-noise alternative for direct simultaneous measurement of each vector field component.
Issue Date: 20-Apr-2017
Date of Acceptance: 22-Mar-2017
ISSN: 2045-2322
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Journal / Book Title: Scientific Reports
Volume: 7
Copyright Statement: © The Author(s) 2017. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Cre- ative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not per- mitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit
Sponsor/Funder: Engineering & Physical Science Research Council (E
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
Funder's Grant Number: EP/K022415/1
Keywords: Science & Technology
Multidisciplinary Sciences
Science & Technology - Other Topics
Publication Status: Published
Article Number: 983
Appears in Collections:Physics
Plasma Physics
Faculty of Natural Sciences

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