Effects of target pre-heating and expansion on terahertz radiation production from intense laser-solid interactions

Yuan, Xiaohui and Fang, Y and Carroll, David and MacLellan, David and Du, F and Booth, Nicola and Burza, Matthias and Chen, Min and Gray, Ross and Jin, Y. F. and Li, Y. and Liu, Y. and Neely, David and Powell, Haydn and Scott, Graeme Gordon and Wahlström, Claes-Göran and Zhang, J. and McKenna, Paul and Sheng, Z. M. (2014) Effects of target pre-heating and expansion on terahertz radiation production from intense laser-solid interactions. High Power Laser Science and Engineering, 2.

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    Abstract

    The first experimental measurements of intense (∼7×1019 W cm−2) laser-driven terahertz (THz) radiation from a solid target which is preheated by an intense pulse of laser-accelerated protons is reported. The total energy of the THz radiation is found to decrease by approximately a factor of 2 compared to a cold target reference. This is attributed to an increase in the scale length of the preformed plasma, driven by proton heating, at the front surface of the target, where the THz radiation is generated. The results show the importance of controlling the preplasma scale length for THz production.