Enhancing positron production using front surface target structures

S. Jiang, A. Link, D. Canning, J. A. Fooks, P. A. Kempler, S. Kerr, J. Kim, M. Krieger, N. S. Lewis, R. Wallace, G. J. Williams, S. Yalamanchili, Hui Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We report a target design which produced a substantial gain in relativistic electron-positron pair production using high-intensity lasers and targets with large-scale micro-structures on their surface. Comparing to an unstructured target, a selected Si microwire array target yielded a near 100% increase in the laser-to-positron conversion efficiency and produced a 10 MeV increase in the average emitted positron energy under nominally the same experimental conditions. We had established a multi-scale particle-in-cell simulation scheme to simulate both the laser absorption and the subsequent pair productions in a thick metal target. The experimental results are supported by the simulations demonstrating the performance increase is due to a higher conversion efficiency of laser energy into electrons with kinetic energies greater than 10 MeV due to enhanced direct laser acceleration of electrons enabled by the microwire array.

Original languageEnglish
Article number094101
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)

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