High order mode structure of intense light fields generated via a laser-driven relativistic plasma aperture

Duff, M. J. and Wilson, R. and King, M. and Gonzalez-Izquierdo, B. and Higginson, A. and Williamson, S. D. R. and Davidson, Z. E. and Capdessus, R. and Booth, N. and Hawkes, S. and Neely, D. and Gray, R. J. and McKenna, P. (2020) High order mode structure of intense light fields generated via a laser-driven relativistic plasma aperture. Scientific Reports, 10. 105. ISSN 2045-2322 (https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-57119-x)

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The spatio-temporal and polarisation properties of intense light is important in wide-ranging topics at the forefront of extreme light-matter interactions, including ultrafast laser-driven particle acceleration, attosecond pulse generation, plasma photonics, high-field physics and laboratory astrophysics. Here, we experimentally demonstrate modifications to the polarisation and temporal properties of intense light measured at the rear of an ultrathin target foil irradiated by a relativistically intense laser pulse. The changes are shown to result from a superposition of coherent radiation, generated by a directly accelerated bipolar electron distribution, and the light transmitted due to the onset of relativistic self-induced transparency. Simulations show that the generated light has a high-order transverse electromagnetic mode structure in both the first and second laser harmonics that can evolve on intra-pulse time-scales. The mode structure and polarisation state vary with the interaction parameters, opening up the possibility of developing this approach to achieve dynamic control of structured light fields at ultrahigh intensities.


Duff, M. J. ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0745-0157, Wilson, R., King, M. ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3370-6141, Gonzalez-Izquierdo, B., Higginson, A. ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2727-8075, Williamson, S. D. R. ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8457-4858, Davidson, Z. E., Capdessus, R. ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3403-6023, Booth, N., Hawkes, S., Neely, D., Gray, R. J. ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0610-9595 and McKenna, P. ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8061-7091;