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Title: Collisionless absorption, hot electron generation, and energy scaling in intense laser-target interaction

Among the various attempts to understand collisionless absorption of intense and superintense ultrashort laser pulses, a whole variety of models and hypotheses has been invented to describe the laser beam target interaction. In terms of basic physics, collisionless absorption is understood now as the interplay of the oscillating laser field with the space charge field produced by it in the plasma. A first approach to this idea is realized in Brunel's model the essence of which consists in the formation of an oscillating charge cloud in the vacuum in front of the target, therefore frequently addressed by the vague term “vacuum heating.” The investigation of statistical ensembles of orbits shows that the absorption process is localized at the ion-vacuum interface and in the skin layer: Single electrons enter into resonance with the laser field thereby undergoing a phase shift which causes orbit crossing and braking of Brunel's laminar flow. This anharmonic resonance acts like an attractor for the electrons and leads to the formation of a Maxwellian tail in the electron energy spectrum. Most remarkable results of our investigations are the Brunel like spectral hot electron distribution at the relativistic threshold, the minimum of absorption at Iλ{sup 2}≅(0.3−1.2)×10{sup 21} Wcm{sup −2}μm{supmore » 2} in the plasma target with the electron density of n{sub e}λ{sup 2}∼10{sup 23}cm{sup −3}μm{sup 2}, the drastic reduction of the number of hot electrons in this domain and their reappearance in the highly relativistic domain, and strong coupling, beyond expectation, of the fast electron jets with the return current through Cherenkov emission of plasmons. The hot electron energy scaling shows a strong dependence on intensity in the moderately relativistic domain Iλ{sup 2}≅(10{sup 18}−10{sup 20}) Wcm{sup −2}μm{sup 2}, a scaling in vague accordance with current published estimates in the range Iλ{sup 2}≅(0.14−3.5)×10{sup 21} Wcm{sup −2}μm{sup 2}, and again a distinct power increase beyond I=3.5×10{sup 21} Wcm{sup −2}μm{sup 2}. The low energy electrons penetrate normally to the target surface, the energetic electrons propagate in laser beam direction.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4]
  1. Institut für Physik, Universität Rostock, Universitätsplatz 3, 18051 Rostock (Germany)
  2. (Russian Federation)
  3. Theoretical Quantum Electronics, Technische Universität Darmstadt, 64289 Darmstadt (Germany)
  4. Institute of Laser Engineering, Osaka University, Osaka 565-0871 (Japan)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22423779
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physics of Plasmas; Journal Volume: 22; Journal Issue: 3; 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; ABSORPTION; ATTRACTORS; CHERENKOV RADIATION; ELECTRON DENSITY; ENERGY SPECTRA; INTERACTIONS; JETS; LAMINAR FLOW; LASER RADIATION; LASER TARGETS; PHASE SHIFT; PHOTON BEAMS; PLASMA; PLASMONS; RELATIVISTIC RANGE; RESONANCE; SPACE CHARGE; STRONG-COUPLING MODEL; TAIL ELECTRONS