Mega-electron-volt (MeV) electron emission from the interaction of an ultrafast (τ ∼ 29fs), intense (>1018 W/cm2) laser pulse with underdense plasmas has been studied. A beam of MeV electrons with a divergence angle as small as 1° is observed in the forward direction, which is correlated with relativistic filamentation of the laser pulse in plasmas. A novel net-energy-gain mechanism is proposed for electron acceleration resulting from the relativistic filamentation and beam breakup. These results suggest an approach for generating a beam of femtosecond, MeV electrons at a kilohertz repetition rate with a compact ultrafast intense laser system.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Journal of the Optical Society of America B: Optical Physics|
|State||Published - Jan 2003|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics