Scientific Results

Laser-driven ultrafast field propagation on solid surfaces

Year: 2009

Authors: Quinn K., Wilson P.A., Cecchetti C.A., Ramakrishna B., Romagnani L., Sarri G., Lancia L., Fuchs J., Pipahl A., Toncian T., Willi O., Clarke R. J., Neely D., Notley N., Gallegos P., Carroll D.C., Quinn M.N., Yuan X.H., McKenna, P., Liseykina T.V., Macchi A., Borghesi M.

Autors Affiliation: Queens Univ Belfast, Dept Phys & Astron, Belfast BT7 1NN, Antrim North Ireland;
Ecole Polytech, Lab Utilisat Lasers Intenses, F-91128 Palaiseau, France;
Univ Dusseldorf, Inst Laser & Plasmaphys, D-40225 Dusseldorf, Germany;
Rutherford Appleton Lab, Cent Laser Facil, Chilton OX11 0QX, Oxon England;
Univ Strathclyde, SUPA, Dept Phys, Glasgow G4 0NG, Lanark Scotland;
Max Planck Inst Nucl Phys, D-6900 Heidelberg, Germany;
CNR INFM PolyLAB, Dipartimento Fis E Fermi, Pisa, Italy

Abstract: The interaction of a 3×10(19) W/cm(2) laser pulse with a metallic wire has been investigated using proton radiography. The pulse is observed to drive the propagation of a highly transient field along the wire at the speed of light. Within a temporal window of 20 ps, the current driven by this field rises to its peak magnitude similar to 10(4) A before decaying to below measurable levels. Supported by particle-in-cell simulation results and simple theoretical reasoning, the transient field measured is interpreted as a charge-neutralizing disturbance propagated away from the interaction region as a result of the permanent loss of a small fraction of the laser-accelerated hot electron population to vacuum.

Journal/Review: PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS

Volume: 102 (19)      Pages from: 194801  to: 194801

More Information: This research was supported by: EPSRC Grants No. EP/E048668/1, No. EP/E035728/1, and No. EP/C003586/1; DFG No. TR18 and No. GK1203; the British Council Alliance Program; QUB Internationalization Funds; a DEL/AWE plc CAST grant; the STFC Direct Access Scheme; and finally, by an EPSRC/Andor Technology Dorothy Hodgkin Postgraduate grant. The support of the staff of the Central Laser Facility at RAL is gratefully acknowledged. The PIC simulations were performed at CINECA (Italy) and were sponsored by the CNR/INFM supercomputing initiative.
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.102.194801

Citations: 73
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