Experimental study of fast electrons from the interaction of ultra intense laser and solid density plasmas
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A series of experiments have been performed to understand fast electron generation from ultra intense laser-solid interaction, and their transports through a cold material. Using Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS), we contrived various shape of cone and wedge targets. The first set of experiment was for investigating hot electron generations by measuring x-ray production in different energy ranges. K[alpha] and hard x-ray yields were compared when the laser was focused into pyramidal shaped cone targets and wedge shaped targets. Hot electron production is highest in the wedge targets irradiated with transverse polarization, though K[alpha] is maximized with wedge targets and parallel polarization. These results are explained with particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations utilizing PICLS and OOPIC codes. We also investigate hot electron transport in foil, wedge, and cone targets by observing the transition radiation emitted from the targets rear side along with bremsstrahlung x-ray measurement. Twodimensional images and spectra of 800 nm coherent transition radiation (CTR) along with ballistic electron transport analysis have revealed the spatial, temporal, and temperature characteristics of hot electron micro-pulses. Various patterns from different target-laser configurations suggest that hot electrons were guided by the strong static electromagnetic fields at the target boundary. Evidence about fast electron guiding in the cone is also observed. CTR at 400 nm showed that two distinct beams of MeV electrons are emitted from the target rear side at the same time. This measurement indicates that two different mechanisms, namely resonance absorption and j x B heating, create two populations of electrons at the targets front side and drive them to different directions, with distinct temperatures and temporal characteristics. This interpretation is consistent with the results from 3D-PIC code Virtual Laser Plasma Laboratory (VLPL).