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Nuclear Fusion 43, 7 (2003) 629
Electron and photon production from relativistic laser–plasma interactions
E. Lefebvre1, N. Cochet1, S. Fritzler2, Victor Malka2, M.-M. Aleonard3, J.-F. Chemin3, S. Darbon1, L. Disdier1, J. Faure4, A. Fedotoff1, O. Landoas1, G. Malka3, V. Meot1, P. Morel1, M. Rabec Le Gloahec1, A. Rouyer1, Ch. Rubbelynck1, V. Tikhonchuk3, R. Wrobel1, P. Audebert4, C. Rousseaux1

The interaction of short and intense laser pulses with plasmas is a very efficient source of relativistic electrons with tunable properties. In low-density plasmas, we observed bunches of electrons up to 200 MeV, accelerated in the wakefield of the laser pulse. Less energetic electrons (tens of megaelectronvolt) have been obtained, albeit with a higher efficiency, during the interaction with a pre-exploded foil or a solid target. When these relativistic electrons slow down in a thick tungsten target, they emit very energetic Bremsstrahlung photons which have been diagnosed directly with photoconductors, and indirectly through photonuclear activation measurements. Dose, photoactivation, and photofission measurements are reported. These results are in reasonable agreement, over three orders of magnitude, with a model built on laser–plasma interaction and electron transport numerical simulations.
1 :  DAM/DIF - DAM Île-de-France
2 :  LOA - Laboratoire d'optique appliquée
3 :  CENBG - Centre d'Etudes Nucléaires de Bordeaux Gradignan
4 :  LULI - Laboratoire pour l'utilisation des lasers intenses
Physique/Physique/Physique des plasmas
Plasma physics