Extreme high field plasmonics: Electron acceleration and XUV harmonic generation from ultrashort surface plasmons

Year: 2019

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

Autors Affiliation: National Institute of Optics, National Research Council (CNR/INO), Adriano Gozzini Laboratory, via Giuseppe Moruzzi 1, Pisa, 56124, Italy; Enrico Fermi Department of Physics, University of Pisa, largo Bruno Pontecorvo 3, Pisa, 56127, Italy; Department of Physics, Lund University, P.O. Box 118, Lund, SE-22100, Sweden; Department of Energy, Politecnico di Milano, Milano, 20133, Italy; CEA/DSM/IRAMIS/LIDYL, CEA Saclay, Gif-sur-Yvette, 91191, France

Abstract: Experiments on the excitation of propagating surface plasmons (SPs) by an ultrashort, high intensity laser interaction with grating targets are reviewed. At intensities exceeding 1019 W cm−2 on target, i.e., in the strongly relativistic regime of electron dynamics, multi-megaelectronvolt electrons are accelerated by the SP field as dense bunches collimated in a near-tangent direction. By the use of a suitable blazed grating, the bunch charge can be increased up to ≈660 pC. Intense extreme ultraviolet high harmonics (HHs) diffracted by the grating are observed when a plasma with a submicrometer scale is produced at the target surface by a controlled prepulse. When the SP is excited, the HHs are strongly enhanced in a direction quasi-parallel to the electrons. Simulations suggest that the HHs are boosted by nanobunching in the SP field of the electrons which scatter the laser field. Besides the static and dynamic tailoring of the target density profile, further control of electron and HH emission might be achieved by changing the SP duration using a laser pulse with a rotating wavefront. The latter technique may allow the production of nearly single-cycle SPs.


Volume: 26 (4)      Pages from: 042114-1  to: 042114-10

More Information: We are grateful to C. Riconda and A. Sgattoni for their longstanding collaboration on the topic of high field plasmonics and to F. Amiranoff for enlightening discussions. We also acknowledge the contributions of L. Chopineau, A. Denoeud, D. Garzella, F. Reau, I. Prencipe, M. Passoni, M. Raynaud, M. Kveton, and J. Proska to the research reviewed in this paper, the help by J.-P. Larbre (ELYSE, Universite Paris Sud, Orsay, France) in the calibration of the Lanex screen, and the overall support of the Saclay Laser Interaction Center team. Simulations were performed using the PICcante code at the HPC Cluster CNAF (Bologna, Italy), with the precious help of S. Sinigardi. This research received financial support from LASERLAB-EUROPE (Grant Agreement No. 284464, EU FP7), Investissement d?Avenir LabEx PALM (Grant No. ANR-10-LABX-0039), Triangle de la physique (Contract No. 2014-0601T), and Agence Nationale pour la Recherche (Grant No. ANR-14-CE32-0011). G.C. acknowledges partial support from the Universite Franco-Italienne (Vinci program 2015, Grant No. C2-92). L.F. acknowledges partial support from the European Research Council Consolidator Grant ENSURE (ERC-2014-CoG No. 647554).
KeyWords: high field plasmonics, ultrashort radiation sources, electron acceleration, high harmonic generation
DOI: 10.1063/1.5086537

Citations: 3
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