An approach to compressing high-power laser beams in plasmas via coherent Raman sideband generation is described. The technique requires two beams: a pump and a probe detuned by a near-resonant frequency \Omega < \omega_p. The two laser beams drive a high-amplitude electron plasma wave (EPW) which modifies the refractive index of plasma so as to produce a periodic phase modulation of the incident laser with the laser beat period t_b = 2\pi / \Omega. After propagation through plasma, the original laser beam breaks into a train of chirped beatnotes (each of duration t_b). The chirp is positive (the longer-wavelength sidebands are advanced in time) when \Omega < \omega_p and negative otherwise. Finite group velocity dispersion (GVD) of radiation in plasma can compress the positively chirped beatnotes to a few-laser-cycle duration thus creating in plasma a sequence of sharp electromagnetic spikes separated in time by t_b. Driven EPW strongly couples the laser sidebands and thus reduces the effect of GVD. Compression of the chirped beatnotes can be implemented in a separate plasma of higher density, where the laser sidebands become uncoupled.
- Electronagnetic cascading in plasma,
- relativistic plasma wave,
- negative group velocity dispersion,
- train of a few-cycle electromagnetic pulses
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/serguei_kalmykov/26/