Experiments demonstrate the ~77× amplification of 0.5 to 3.5-ps pulses of seed light by interaction with Langmuir waves in a low density (1.2 × 1019 cm−3) plasma produced by a 1-ns, 230-J, 1054-nm pump beam with 1.2 × 1014 W/cm2 intensity. The waves are strongly damped (kλD = 0.38, Te = 244 eV) and grow over a ~ 1 mm length, similar to what is experienced by scattered light when it interacts with crossing beams as it exits an ignition target. The amplification reduces when the seed intensity increases above ~1 × 1011 W/cm2, indicating that saturation of the plasma waves on the electron kinetic time scale (<0.5 ps) limits the scatter to ~1% of the available pump energy. The observations are in agreement with 2D PIC simulations in this case.
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