Scientific Results

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: 1) Enrico Fermi Department of Physics, University of Pisa, 56127 Pisa, Italy
2) National Institute of Optics, National Research Council (CNR/INO), u.o.s Adriano Gozzini, 56124 Pisa, Italy
3) LIDYL, CEA, CNRS, Université Paris-Saclay, CEA Saclay, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette, France
4) University of Paris Sud, Orsay 91405, France
5) Department of Energy, Politecnico di Milano, Milan 20156, Italy
6) Laboratoire des Solides irradiés, Ecole Polytechnique, CNRS, CEA/DSM/IRAMIS, Université Paris-Saclay, 91128 Palaiseau Cedex, France
7) FNSPE, Czech Technical University, Prague 11519, Czech Republic

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      Pages from: 015001-1  to: 015001-6

KeyWords: laser-plasma acceleration; electron acceleration; surface plasmons; high field plasmonics;

English