In radiation pressure ion acceleration (RPA) research, the transverse stability within laser plasma interaction has been a long-standing, crucial problem over the past decades. In this paper, we present a one-dimensional two-fluid theory extended from a recent work Wan et al. Phys. Rev. Lett. 117, 234801 (2016)PRLTAO0031-900710.1103/PhysRevLett.117.234801 to clearly clarify the origin of the intrinsic transverse instability in the RPA process. It is demonstrated that the purely growing density fluctuations are more likely induced due to the strong coupling between the fast oscillating electrons and quasistatic ions via the ponderomotive force with spatial variations. The theory contains a full analysis of both electrostatic (ES) and electromagnetic modes and confirms that the ES mode actually dominates the whole RPA process at the early linear stage. By using this theory one can predict the mode structure and growth rate of the transverse instability in terms of a wide range of laser plasma parameters. Two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations are systematically carried out to verify the theory and formulas in different regimes, and good agreements have been obtained, indicating that the electron-ion coupled instability is the major factor that contributes the transverse breakup of the target in RPA process.
|Journal||Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics|
|State||Published - 11 Jul 2018|