High field plasmonics and laser-plasma acceleration in solid targets

Year: 2016

Authors: Sgattoni A., Fedeli L., Cantono G., Ceccotti T., Macchi A.,

Autors Affiliation: Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR/INO), Istituto Nazionale di Ottica, U.O.S ‘Adriano Gozzini’,
Pisa, 50125 Firenze, Italy; Dipartimento di Fisica ‘Enrico Fermi’, Università di Pisa, Largo Bruno Pontecorvo 3, I-56127 Pisa,Italy; CEA-DSM/IRAMIS/LIDYL, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex, France; University of Paris Sud, 91400 Orsay, France

Abstract: The interaction of low intensity laser pulses with metal nano-structures is at the basis of plasmonics and the excitation of surface plasmon polaritons (SP) is one of its building blocks. Some of the configurations adopted in classical plasmonics can be explored considering high intensity lasers interacting with properly structured targets. SP excitation at intensities such that the electrons quiver at relativistic velocities, poses new questions and might open new frontiers for manipulation and amplification of high power laser pulses. Here we discuss two configurations which show evidence of the resonant coupling between relativistically intense laser pulses with the SPs on plasma targets with surface modulations. Evidences of SP excitation were observed in a recent experiment when a high contrast (10(12)), high intensity laser pulse (I=5 . 10(19) W cm(-2)) was focussed on a grating target (engraved surface at sub-micron scale); a strong emission of multi-MeV electron bunches accelerated by SPs was observed only in conditions for the resonant SP excitation. Theoretical and numerical analysis of the Light-Sail (LS) Radiation Pressure Acceleration (RPA) regime show how the plasmonic resonant coupling of the laser light with the target rippling, affects the growth of Rayleigh Taylor Instability (RTI) driven by the radiation pressure.


Volume: 58 (1)      Pages from: 014004  to: 014004

More Information: The experiment at the SLIC facility of CEA Saclay, France, has received funding from LASERLAB-EUROPE (grant agreement no. 284464, EU´s Seventh Framework Programme. Additional support from ´Investissement d´Avenir´ LabEx PALM (Grant ANR-10-LABX-0039), Triangle de la physique (contract nbr. 2014-0601T ENTIER) and ´Institut Lasers et Plasmas´ is also acknowledged. The contribution of D Garzella, F Reau, I Prencipe, M Passoni, M Raynaud, M Kveton and J Proska to the design and realization of the experiment is gratefully acknowledged. We also acknowledge F Pegoraro and S Sinigardi for their contribution to the theory and simulations of the laser-driven Rayleigh-Taylor instability. The numerical simulations were performed on the BlueGene/Q machine FERMI at CINECA, Italy, with access sponsored by PRACE awarded projects ´LSAIL´ and ´PICCANTE´, ISCRA project ´FOAM2´ and LISA project ´LAPLAST´.
KeyWords: laser-plasma interaction; plasmonics; electron acceleration; ion acceleration; particle in cell simulations
DOI: 10.1088/0741-3335/58/1/014004

Citations: 15
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