Demonstration of coherent terahertz transition radiation from relativistic laser-solid interactions

Guo-Qian Liao, Yu-Tong Li, Yi-Hang Zhang, Hao Liu, Xu-Lei Ge, Su Yang, Wen-Qing Wei, Xiao-Hui Yuan, Yan-Qing Deng, Bao-Jun Zhu, Zhe Zhang, Wei-Min Wang, Zheng-Ming Sheng, Li-Ming Chen, Xin Lu, Jing-Long Ma, Xuan Wang, Jie Zhang

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Coherent transition radiation in the terahertz (THz) region with energies of sub-mJ/pulse has been demonstrated by relativistic laser-driven electron beams crossing the solid-vacuum boundary. Targets including mass-limited foils and layered metal-plastic targets are used to verify the radiation mechanism and characterize the radiation properties. Observations of THz emissions as a function of target parameters agree well with the formation-zone and diffraction model of transition radiation. Particle-in-cell simulations also well reproduce the observed characteristics of THz emissions. The present THz transition radiation enables not only a potential tabletop brilliant THz source, but also a novel noninvasive diagnostic for fast electron generation and transport in laser-plasma interactions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number205003
Number of pages13
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Publication statusPublished - 20 May 2016


  • transition radiation
  • acceleration
  • laser-plasma interactions
  • coherent radiation
  • tetrahertz emissions
  • THz radiation
  • coherent transition radiation


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