An experimental investigation of lateral electron transport in thin metallic foil targets irradiated by ultraintense (>= 10(19) W/cm(2)) laser pulses is reported. Two-dimensional spatially resolved ion emission measurements are used to quantify electric-field generation resulting from electron transport. The measurement of large electric fields (similar to 0.1 TV/m) millimeters from the laser focus reveals that lateral energy transport continues long after the laser pulse has decayed. Numerical simulations confirm a very strong enhancement of electron density and electric field at the edges of the target.
- lateral electron transport
- high-intensity laser-irradiated foils
- ion emission