Optica Publishing Group

Tight-Focusing Parabolic Reflector Schemes for Petawatt Lasers

Posted on 2023-05-25 - 21:50
A comparative study of three different tight-focusing schemes for high-power lasers is performed numerically. Using the Stratton-Chu formulation, the electromagnetic field in the vicinity of the focus is evaluated for a short-pulse laser beam incident upon an on-axis high numerical aperture parabola (HNAP), an off-axis parabola (OAP), and a transmission parabola (TP). Linearly- and radially-polarized incident beams are considered. It is demonstrated that while all the focusing configurations yield intensities above 10²³ W/cm² for a 1 PW incident beam, the nature of the focused field can be drastically modified. In particular, it is shown that the TP, with its focal point behind the parabola, actually converts an incoming linearly-polarized beam into an 𝑚 = 2 vector beam. The strengths and weaknesses of each configuration are discussed in the context of future laser-matter interaction experiments. Finally, a generalization of NA calculations up to 4𝜋-illumination is proposed through the solid angle formulation, providing a universal way to compare light cones from any kind of optics.


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Simon Vallières
François Fillion-Gourdeau
Stephane Payeur
Jeffrey Powell
Sylvain Fourmaux
François Légaré
Steve MacLean


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