High-quality high-order harmonic generation through preplasma truncation

Li, B. Y. and Liu, F. and Chen, M. and Chen, Z. Y. and Yuan, X. H. and Weng, S. M. and Jin, T. and Rykovanov, S. G. and Wang, J. W. and Sheng, Z. M. and Zhang, J. (2019) High-quality high-order harmonic generation through preplasma truncation. Physical Review E, 100 (5). 053207. ISSN 2470-0053 (https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevE.100.053207)

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By introducing preplasma truncation to cases with an initial preplasma scale length larger than 0.2λ, the efficiency of high-order harmonics generated from relativistic laser-solid interactions can be enhanced by more than one order of magnitude and the angular spread can be confined into near-diffraction-limited divergence. Numerical simulations show that density truncation results in more compact oscillation of the surface electron sheet and the curvature of the reflection surface for the driving laser is greatly reduced. This leads to an overall improvement in the harmonic beam quality. More importantly, density truncation makes the harmonic generation weakly dependent on the preplasma scale length, which provides a way to relax the extremely high requirement on the temporal contrast of the driving laser pulse. A feasible scheme to realize the required preplasma truncation is also proposed and demonstrated by numerical simulations.