The generation of energetic electron bunches by the interaction of a short, ultraintense (I>1019 W/cm2) laser pulse with "grating" targets has been investigated in a regime of ultrahigh pulse-to-prepulse contrast (1012). For incidence angles close to the resonant condition for surface plasmon excitation, a strong electron emission was observed within a narrow cone along the target surface, with energy spectra peaking at 5-8 MeV and total charge of ∼100 pC. Both the energy and the number of emitted electrons were strongly enhanced with respect to simple flat targets. The experimental data are closely reproduced by three-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations, which provide evidence for the generation of relativistic surface plasmons and for their role in driving the acceleration process. Besides the possible applications of the scheme as a compact, ultrashort source of MeV electrons, these results are a step forward in the development of high-field plasmonics.

Electron Acceleration by Relativistic Surface Plasmons in Laser-Grating Interaction

FEDELI, LUCA;SGATTONI, ANDREA;PRENCIPE, IRENE;PASSONI, MATTEO;
2016-01-01

Abstract

The generation of energetic electron bunches by the interaction of a short, ultraintense (I>1019 W/cm2) laser pulse with "grating" targets has been investigated in a regime of ultrahigh pulse-to-prepulse contrast (1012). For incidence angles close to the resonant condition for surface plasmon excitation, a strong electron emission was observed within a narrow cone along the target surface, with energy spectra peaking at 5-8 MeV and total charge of ∼100 pC. Both the energy and the number of emitted electrons were strongly enhanced with respect to simple flat targets. The experimental data are closely reproduced by three-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations, which provide evidence for the generation of relativistic surface plasmons and for their role in driving the acceleration process. Besides the possible applications of the scheme as a compact, ultrashort source of MeV electrons, these results are a step forward in the development of high-field plasmonics.
2016
Physics and Astronomy (all), laser-plasma interaction, surface plasmons, electron acceleration, particle-in-cell simulations, high-field plasmonics
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/1003254
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