Directed fast electron beams in ultraintense picosecond laser irradiated solid targets

Ge, X. L. and Lin, X. X. and Yuan, X. H. and Carroll, D. C. and Gray, R. J. and Yu, T. P. and Tresca, O. and Chen, M. and Liu, F. and Zhou, H. B. and Zielbauer, B. and Zhao, L. and Neely, D. and Sheng, Z.M. and Li, Y. T. and McKenna, P. (2015) Directed fast electron beams in ultraintense picosecond laser irradiated solid targets. Applied Physics Letters, 107 (9). ISSN 0003-6951

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    Abstract

    We report on fast electron transport and emission patterns from solid targets irradiated by s-polarized, relativistically intense, picosecond laser pulses. A beam of multi-MeV electrons is found to be transported along the target surface in the laser polarization direction. The spatial-intensity and energy distributions of this beam are compared with the beam produced along the laser propagation axis. It is shown that even for peak laser intensities an order of magnitude higher than the relativistic threshold; laser polarization still plays an important role in electron energy transport. Results from 3D particle-in-cell simulations confirm the findings. The characterization of directional beam emission is important for applications requiring efficient energy transfer, including secondary photon and ion source development.