Radially polarized, half-cycle, attosecond pulses from laser wakefields through coherent synchrotron radiation

Li, F.Y. and Sheng, Z.M. and Chen, M. and L. Yu, L. and Meyer-ter-Vehn, J. and B. Mori, W. and Zhang, J. (2014) Radially polarized, half-cycle, attosecond pulses from laser wakefields through coherent synchrotron radiation. Physical Review E: Statistical Physics, Plasmas, Fluids, and Related Interdisciplinary Topics, 90 (4). 043104. ISSN 1063-651X

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    Abstract

    Attosecond bursts of coherent synchrotron-like radiation are found when driving ultrathin relativistic electron disks in a quasi-one-dimensional regime of wakefield acceleration, in which the laser waist is larger than the wake wavelength. The disks of overcritical density shrink radially due to the focusing wake fields, thus providing the transverse currents for the emission of an intense, radially polarized, half-cycle pulse of about 100 attoseconds in duration. The electromagnetic pulse first focuses to a peak intensity 10 times larger ($7\times10^{20}\rm W/cm^2$) than the driving pulse and then emerges as a conical beam. Saturation of the emission amplitudes is derived analytically and in agreement with particle-in-cell simulation. By making use of gas targets instead of solids to form the ultrathin disks, the new scheme allows for high repetition rate required for applications.