Electron Acceleration by Relativistic Surface Plasmons in Laser-Grating Interaction

Year: 2016

Authors: Fedeli L., Sgattoni A., Cantono G., Garzella D., Réau F., Prencipe I., Passoni M., Raynaud M., Květoň M., Proska J., Macchi A., Ceccotti T.

Autors Affiliation: Enrico Fermi Department of Physics, University of Pisa, Pisa, 56127, Italy; National Institute of Optics, National Research Council (CNR/INO), u.o.s Adriano Gozzini, Pisa, 56124, Italy; LIDYL, CEA, CNRS, University Paris-Saclay, CEA Saclay, Gif-sur-Yvette, 91191, France; University of Paris Sud, Orsay, 91405, France; Department of Energy, Politecnico di Milano, Milan, 20156, Italy; Laboratoire des Solides Irradiys, Ecole Polytechnique, CNRS, CEA/DSM/IRAMIS, University Paris-Saclay, Palaiseau Cedex, 91128, France; FNSPE, Czech Technical University, Prague, 11519, Czech Republic; Institute of Radiation Physics, Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, Dresden, 01328, Germany

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.

Journal/Review: PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS

Volume: 116 (1)      Pages from: 015001-1  to: 015001-6

More Information: The research leading to these results has received funding from LASERLAB-EUROPE (Grant agreement No. 284464, EU FP7). Support from “Investissement d´Avenir” LabEx PALM (Grant ANR-10-LABX-0039), Triangle de la physique, Contract No. 2014-0601T ENTIER) and “Institut Lasers et Plasmas” is also acknowledged. Partial support of the Czech Science Foundation Project No. 15-02964S is gratefully acknowledged. We acknowledge ISCRA and LISA access schemes to the BlueGene/Q machine FERMI at CINECA, Italy, via the projects “FOAM2” (ISCRA) and “LAPLAST” (LISA), and PRACE for the development of the code within the project “PICCANTE.” The Lanex screen calibration was performed at Laboratoire de l´Accelerateur Lineaire with the help of Thomas Vinatier, Pierre Lepercq, and Alexandre Gonnin. We thank the team of the Saclay Laser Interaction Center for their support, and Ondrej Klimo, Fabien Quere, Gianluca Sarri, and Caterina Riconda for useful help and discussions.
KeyWords: laser-plasma acceleration; electron acceleration; surface plasmons; high field plasmonics;
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.116.015001

Citations: 50
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