Simulations of electromagnetic emission from colliding laser wakefields

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Electromagnetic emission at the second harmonic of the plasma frequency produced by nonlinear interaction of counterpropagating laser-driven potential plasma waves are studied using particle-in-cell simulations. This process has been recently proposed as a method for generating high-power tunable THz radiation with a narrow spectral line-width (Timofeev et al 2017 Phys. Plasmas 24 103106). In the present paper, we find the optimal conditions for demonstrating this phenomenon in a laboratory experiment that implies excitation of colliding wakefields by axially symmetric 830 nm Gaussian laser pulses with the total energy 0.2 J in a supersonic gas jet. It is shown that the emission mechanism based on the collision of different-size wakes is always accompanied with the mechanism of plasma antenna which begins to radiate electromagnetic waves after the build-up of periodic ion density modulation. Such additional emission makes hydrogen more attractive for this generating scheme than gases with heavier atoms.

Original languageEnglish
Article number045017
Number of pages9
JournalPlasma Physics and Controlled Fusion
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 26 Feb 2020


  • electromagnetic emission at plasma frequency harmonics
  • plasma wakefields
  • terahertz generation


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