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Massively parallel algorithms for realistic PIC simulations of ultra high intensity laser-plasma interaction, application to attosecond pulses separation of Doppler harmonics

Abstract : The complexity of the physical mechanisms involved in ultra-high intensity laser-plasma interaction requires the use of particularly heavy PIC simulations. At the heart of these computational codes, high-order pseudo-spectral Maxwell solvers have many advantages in terms of numerical accuracy. This numerical approach comes however with an expensive computational cost. Indeed, existing parallelization methods for pseudo-spectral solvers are only scalable to few tens of thousands of cores, or induce an important memory footprint, which also hinders the scaling of the method at large scales. In this thesis, we developed a novel, arbitrarily scalable, parallelization strategy for pseudo-spectral Maxwell's equations solvers which combines the advantages of existing parallelization techniques. This method proved to be more scalable than previously proposed approaches, while ensuring a significant drop in the total memory use.By capitalizing on this computational work, we conducted an extensive numerical and theoretical study in the field of high order harmonics generation on solid targets. In this context, when an ultra-intense (I>10¹⁶⁻²) ultra-short (few tens of femtoseconds) laser pulse irradiates a solid target, a reflective overdense plasma mirror is formed at the target-vacuum interface. The subsequent laser pulse non linear reflection is accompanied with the emission of coherent high order laser harmonics, in the form of attosecond X-UV light pulses (1 attosecond = 10⁻¹⁸s). For relativistic laser intensities (I>10¹⁹⁻²), the plasma surface is curved under the laser radiation pressure. And the plasma mirror acts as a focusing optics for the radiated harmonic beam. In this thesis, we investigated feasible ways for producing isolated attosecond light pulses from relativistic plasma-mirror harmonics, with the so called attosecond lighthouse effect. This effect relies introducing a wavefront rotation on the driving laser pulse in order to send attosecond pulses emitted during different laser optical cycles along different directions. In the case of high order harmonics generated in the relativistic regime, the plasma mirror curvature significantly increases the attosecond pulses divergence and prevents their separation with the attosecond lighthouse scheme. For this matter, we developed two harmonic divergence reduction techniques, based on tailoring the laser pulse phase or amplitude profiles in order to significantly inhibit the plasma mirror focusing effect and allow for a clear separation of attosecond light pulses by reducing the harmonic beam divergence. Furthermore, we developed an analytical model to predict optimal interaction conditions favoring attosecond pulses separation. This model was fully validated with 2D and 3D PIC simulations over a broad range of laser and plasma parameters. In the end, we show that under realistic laser and plasma conditions, it is possible to produce isolated attosecond pulses from Doppler harmonics.
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Submitted on : Friday, July 31, 2020 - 4:38:10 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, August 26, 2020 - 3:13:07 PM


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  • HAL Id : tel-02910065, version 1


Haithem Kallala. Massively parallel algorithms for realistic PIC simulations of ultra high intensity laser-plasma interaction, application to attosecond pulses separation of Doppler harmonics. Computational Physics [physics.comp-ph]. Université Paris-Saclay, 2020. English. ⟨NNT : 2020UPASS052⟩. ⟨tel-02910065⟩



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