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Title: On specular reflectivity measurements in high and low-contrast relativistic laser-plasma interactions

Using both experiment and 2D3V particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations, we describe the use of specular reflectivity measurements to study relativistic (Iλ{sup 2 }> 10{sup 18 }W/cm{sup 2}⋅μm{sup 2}) laser-plasma interactions for both high and low-contrast 527 nm laser pulses on initially solid density aluminum targets. In the context of hot-electron generation, studies typically rely on diagnostics which, more-often-than-not, represent indirect processes driven by fast electrons transiting through solid density materials. Specular reflectivity measurements, however, can provide a direct measure of the interaction that is highly sensitive to how the EM fields and plasma profiles, critical input parameters for modeling of hot-electron generation, evolve near the interaction region. While the fields of interest occur near the relativistic critical electron density, experimental reflectivity measurements are obtained centimeters away from the interaction region, well after diffraction has fully manifested itself. Using a combination of PIC simulations with experimentally inspired conditions and an analytic, non-paraxial, pulse propagation algorithm, we calculate reflected pulse properties, both near and far from the interaction region, and compare with specular reflectivity measurements. The experiment results and PIC simulations demonstrate that specular reflectivity measurements are an extremely sensitive qualitative, and partially quantitative, indicator of initial laser/target conditions, ionization effects, and other details of intense laser-mattermore » interactions. The techniques described can provide strong constraints on many systems of importance in ultra-intense laser interactions with matter.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ; ; ; ;  [1] ; ;  [3] ; ; ;  [4] ;  [5]
  1. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, California 94550 (United States)
  2. (United States)
  3. The Ohio State University, Department of Physics, Columbus, Ohio 43210 (United States)
  4. University of Alberta, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Alberta T6G 2V4 (Canada)
  5. Universidad Politècnica de Madrid, Madrid (Spain)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22408022
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physics of Plasmas; Journal Volume: 22; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: (c) 2015 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; ALGORITHMS; COMPUTERIZED SIMULATION; DIFFRACTION; ELECTRON DENSITY; LASER TARGETS; LASERS; LIMITING VALUES; PLASMA RADIAL PROFILES; PULSES; REFLECTIVITY; RELATIVISTIC RANGE