TITLE

Energetic electron propagation in solid targets driven by the intense electric fields of femtosecond laser pulses

AUTHOR(S)
Seely, J. F.; Szabo, C. I.; Audebert, P.; Brambrink, E.
PUB. DATE
June 2011
SOURCE
Physics of Plasmas;Jun2011, Vol. 18 Issue 6, p062702
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
An analytical model is used to interpret experimental data on the propagation of energetic electrons perpendicular to and parallel to the propagation direction of intense femtosecond laser pulses that are incident on solid targets. The pulses with ≈1020 W/cm2 intensity are incident normal onto a gadolinium or tungsten wire embedded in an aluminum substrate, and MeV electrons generated in the focal spot propagate along the laser direction into the irradiated wire. Electrons also propagate laterally from the focal spot through the aluminum substrate and into a dysprosium or hafnium spectator wire at a distance up to 1 mm from the irradiated wire. The ratio of the K shell emission from the spectator and irradiated wires is a measure of the numbers and energies of the MeV electrons propagating parallel to and perpendicular to the intense oscillating electric field of the laser pulse. It is found that the angular distribution of electrons from the focal spot is highly non-isotropic, and approximately twice as many electrons are driven by the electric field toward the spectator wire as into the irradiated wire. This quantitative result is consistent with the qualitative experimental observation that the oscillating electric field of an intense femtosecond laser pulse, when interacting with a heavy metal target, preferentially drives energetic electrons in the electric field direction as compared to perpendicular to the field.
ACCESSION #
62010239

 

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