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Surface transport of energetic electrons in intense picosecond laser-foil interactions

Gray, R. J. and Yuan, X. H. and Carroll, D. C. and Brenner, C. M. and Coury, M. and Quinn, M. N. and Tresca, O. and Zielbauer, B. and Aurand, B. and Bagnoud, V. and Fils, J. and Kuehl, T. and Lin, X. X. and Li, C. and Li, Y. T. and Roth, M. and Neely, D. and McKenna, P. (2011) Surface transport of energetic electrons in intense picosecond laser-foil interactions. Applied Physics Letters, 99 (17). -. ISSN 0003-6951

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The angular distribution of energetic electrons emitted from thin foil targets irradiated by intense, picosecond laser pulses is measured as a function of laser incidence angle, intensity, and polarization. Although the escaping fast electron population is found to be predominantly transported along the target surface for incidence angles >= 65 degrees, in agreement with earlier work at lower intensities, rear-surface proton acceleration measurements reveal that a significant electron current is also transported longitudinally within the target, irrespective of incident angle. These findings are of interest to many applications of laser-solid interactions, including advanced schemes for inertial fusion energy.