Colloquia & Guest Speakers

Plasma-Based Laser Amplifiers and Particle Accelerators

Dr. Jessica Shaw, Scientist at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics, University of Rochester

Monday, December 5, 2022
3:30 p.m.

In-person in Goergen 101 and Zoom

Zoom Information

Meeting ID: 952 7674 7247
Passcode: 964579


The University of Rochester’s Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE) is growing its program in ultrashort-pulse laser-plasma interactions, including Raman amplification and laser-plasma accelerators. The Raman amplification of laser pulses in plasma is an exciting path towards overcoming the single-beam intensity limit of solid-state-based laser amplification, which causes many envisioned applications to remain beyond the intensity frontier. This talk presents first experimental results from the Raman Amplification experimental platform at the LLE, which have demonstrated single-pass Raman amplification with energy gain factors as high as 12x and efficiencies as high as 7.4%. Laser-plasma acceleration (LPA), which accelerates particles using laser-driven plasma waves, boasts acceleration gradients three orders of magnitude higher than traditional particle accelerators, and therefore may provide cost-effective, tabletop electron and hard x/gamma-ray sources. This talk also reports on the development of the first LPA driven by a short-pulse, kilojoule-class laser (OMEGA EP) connected to a multi-kilojoule HEDS driver (OMEGA). In experiments, electron beams were produced with electron energies greater than 200 MeV, charge greater than 700 nC, and conversion efficiencies from laser energy to electron energy up to 11%. These electron beams have been used to perform proof-of-principle contact and projection electron radiography of static and driven targets.


Headshot of Jessica Shaw.
Dr. Jessica Shaw

Dr. Jessica Shaw received her MS and PhD degrees in Electrical Engineering with a focus on laser-plasma accelerators from the University of California Los Angeles before joining the research staff at the University of Rochester’s Laboratory for Laser Energetics as a Scientist. Dr. Shaw’s research interests are in the field of experimental short-pulse laser-plasma interactions. Her research encompasses plasma-based Raman amplification of ultrashort-pulse lasers, the fundamental physics of laser-plasma accelerators, and the applications of the beams produced by those accelerators.