Enam Chowdhury wins DOE grant for studying ultra-intense laser material interaction at LaserNetUS Labs
Dr. Enam Chowdhury has won a Department of Energy (DOE) award of $410,000 (2019-2022) under the High Energy Density Laboratory Plasmas (HEDLP) program to develop a high spatial and temporal resolution optical probe and single atom probe to study materials, especially nano-structured surfaces interact and evolve under extreme laser intensities.
Over the last three decades, studies in ultra-intense laser matter interaction have opened doors to exciting fields like laser wakefield acceleration of GeV electrons, multi-MeV ion acceleration, neutron generation, non-linear QED effects like laser induced positron generation, etc. To understand and model these complex phenomena, one needs a careful measurement of the peak focal intensity and target surface modification by the laser in situ with ultrafast time resolution (>100 THz frame rate equivalent). These measurements are extremely difficult to perform with petawatt class lasers with pulse energy exceeding 10 J. With the next generation lasers with peak powers 10 – 100 PW being designed and constructed around the world, these challenges would only become more difficult. Under this program, Chowdhury Lab proposes to develop a novel in situ peak intensity measuring technique valid till ~1026 W/cm2 and a time resolved in situ surface probe with micron spatial and 10 fs temporal resolution and deploy these in two partnering LaserNetUS (https://www.lasernetus.org/) laboratories (a DOE supported consortium of seven top laser labs in the country, one of them is the SCARLET Laser at OSU, which Chowdhury designed and led the construction of), the Advanced Beam Laboratory at Colorado State University and the BELLA facility at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, with high repetition rate petawatt class laser systems.