Gamma-ray flash in the interaction of a tightly focused single-cycle ultra-intense laser pulse with a solid target

P. Hadjisolomou*, T. M. Jeong, P. Valenta, D. Kolenaty, R. Versaci, V. Olšovcová, C. P. Ridgers, S. V. Bulanov

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We employ the γ3 regime where a near-single-cycle laser pulse is tightly focused, thus providing the highest possible intensity for the minimal energy at a certain laser power. The quantum electrodynamics processes in the course of the interaction of an ultra-intense laser with a solid target are studied via three-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations, revealing the generation of copious γ-photons and electron-positron pairs. A parametric study of the laser polarisation, target thickness and electron number density shows that a radially polarised laser provides the optimal regime for γ-photon generation. By varying the laser power in the range of 1 to 300 PW we find the scaling of the laser to γ-photon energy conversion efficiency. The laser-generated γ-photon interaction with a high- target is further studied using Monte Carlo simulations revealing further electron-positron pair generation and radioactive nuclide creation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number905880104
JournalJournal of Plasma Physics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 19 Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to acknowledge useful communication with Dr D. Khikhlukha and K. Lezhnin. This work is supported by the projects High Field Initiative (CZ.02.1.01/0.0/0.0/15003/0000449) from the European Regional Development Fund and ‘e-INFRA CZ’ (ID:90140) from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic. C.P.R. would like to acknowledge funding from EPSRC, grant no. EP/V049461/1. The EPOCH code is in part funded by UK EPSRC grants EP/G054950/1, EP/G056803/1, EP/G055165/1 and EP/M022463/1.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © The Author(s), 2022.


  • Intense particle beam
  • Plasma simulation

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