Time and space resolved interferometry for laser-generated fast electron measurements

Antici, P.; Chen, S. N.; Gremillet, L.; Grismayer, T.; Mora, P.; Audebert, P.; Fuchs, J.
November 2010
Review of Scientific Instruments;Nov2010, Vol. 81 Issue 11, p113302
Academic Journal
A technique developed to measure in time and space the dynamics of the electron populations resulting from the irradiation of thin solids by ultraintense lasers is presented. It is a phase reflectometry technique that uses an optical probe beam reflecting off the target rear surface. The phase of the probe beam is sensitive to both laser-produced fast electrons of low-density streaming into vacuum and warm solid density electrons that are heated by the fast electrons. A time and space resolved interferometer allows to recover the phase of the probe beam sampling the target. The entire diagnostic is computationally modeled by calculating the probe beam phase when propagating through plasma density profiles originating from numerical calculations of plasma expansion. Matching the modeling to the experimental measurements allows retrieving the initial electron density and temperature of both populations locally at the target surface with very high temporal and spatial resolution (∼4 ps,6 μm). Limitations and approximations of the diagnostic are discussed and analyzed.


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