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  • Received: Jul. 2, 2019

    Accepted: Nov. 21, 2019

    Posted: Feb. 19, 2020

    Published Online: Feb. 14, 2020

    The Author Email: X. H. Yang (xhyang@nudt.edu.cn)

    DOI: 10.1017/hpl.2019.53

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    X. H. Yang, C. Ren, H. Xu, Y. Y. Ma, F. Q. Shao. Transport of ultraintense laser-driven relativistic electrons in dielectric targets[J]. High Power Laser Science and Engineering, 2020, 8(1): 010000e2

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High Power Laser Science and Engineering, Vol. 8, Issue 1, 010000e2 (2020)

Transport of ultraintense laser-driven relativistic electrons in dielectric targets

X. H. Yang1,2,4,†, C. Ren2, H. Xu3,4, Y. Y. Ma1,4,5, and F. Q. Shao1

Author Affiliations

  • 1Department of Physics, National University of Defense Technology, Changsha410073, China
  • 2Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York14627, USA
  • 3College of Computing Science, National University of Defense Technology, Changsha410073, China
  • 4IFSA Collaborative Innovation Center, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai200240, China
  • 5State Key Laboratory of NBC Protection for Civilian, Beijing102205, China

Abstract

Ultraintense laser-driven relativistic electrons provide a way of heating matter to high energy density states related to many applications. However, the transport of relativistic electrons in solid targets has not been understood well yet, especially in dielectric targets. We present the first detailed two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations of relativistic electron transport in a silicon target by including the field ionization and collisional ionization processes. An ionization wave is found propagating in the insulator, with a velocity dependent on laser intensity and slower than the relativistic electron velocity. Widely spread electric fields in front of the sheath fields are observed due to the collective effect of free electrons and ions. The electric fields are much weaker than the threshold electric field of field ionization. Two-stream instability behind the ionization front arises for the cases with laser intensity greater than $5\times 10^{19}~\text{W}/\text{cm}^{2}$ that produce high relativistic electron current densities.

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