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  • Received: Jul. 26, 2019

    Accepted: Mar. 16, 2020

    Posted: Apr. 30, 2020

    Published Online: Apr. 30, 2020

    The Author Email: M. Cerchez (mirela.cerchez@hhu.de)

    DOI: 10.1017/hpl.2020.14

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    X. M. Zhu, R. Prasad, M. Swantusch, B. Aurand, A. A. Andreev, O. Willi, M. Cerchez. Relativistic electron acceleration by surface plasma waves excited with high intensity laser pulses[J]. High Power Laser Science and Engineering, 2020, 8(2): 02000e15

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High Power Laser Science and Engineering, Vol. 8, Issue 2, 02000e15 (2020)

Relativistic electron acceleration by surface plasma waves excited with high intensity laser pulses

X. M. Zhu1,2,3, R. Prasad1, M. Swantusch1, B. Aurand1, A. A. Andreev4,5, O. Willi1, and M. Cerchez1,†

Author Affiliations

  • 1Institut für Laser und Plasmaphysik, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Universitätsstr. 1, Düsseldorf, 40225, Germany
  • 2National Astronomical Observatories/Nanjing Institute of Astronomical Optics and Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing210042, China
  • 3CAS Key Laboratory of Astronomical Optics and Technology, Nanjing Institute of Astronomical Optics and Technology, Nanjing210042, China
  • 4Saint Petersburg State University, 7-9 Universitetskaya Nab., Saint Petersburg, 199034, Russia
  • 5ELI-ALPS, Dugonics tér. 13, H 6722, Szeged, Hungary

Abstract

The process of high energy electron acceleration along the surface of grating targets (GTs) that were irradiated by a relativistic, high-contrast laser pulse at an intensity $I=2.5\times 10^{20}~\text{W}/\text{cm}^{2}$ was studied. Our experimental results demonstrate that for a GT with a periodicity twice the laser wavelength, the surface electron flux is more intense for a laser incidence angle that is larger compared to the resonance angle predicted by the linear model. An electron beam with a peak charge of ${\sim}2.7~\text{nC}/\text{sr}$, for electrons with energies ${>}1.5~\text{MeV}$, was measured. Numerical simulations carried out with parameters similar to the experimental conditions also show an enhanced electron flux at higher incidence angles depending on the preplasma scale length. A theoretical model that includes ponderomotive effects with more realistic initial preplasma conditions suggests that the laser-driven intensity and preformed plasma scale length are important for the acceleration process. The predictions closely match the experimental and computational results.

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