Measurement of the angle, temperature and flux of fast electrons emitted from intense laser-solid interactions

D. R. Rusby, L. A. Wilson, R. J. Gray, R. J. Dance, N. M H Butler, D. A. MacLellan, G. G. Scott, V. Bagnoud, B. Zielbauer, P. McKenna, D. Neely

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High-intensity laser-solid interactions generate relativistic electrons, as well as high-energy (multi-MeV) ions and X-rays. The directionality, spectra and total number of electrons that escape atarget-foil is dependent on the absorption, transport and rear-side sheath conditions. Measuring the electrons escaping the target will aid in improving our understanding of these absorption processes and the rear-surface sheath fields that retard the escaping electrons and accelerate ions via the target normal sheath acceleration (TNSA) mechanism. A comprehensive Geant4 study was performed to help analyse measurements made with a wrap-around diagnostic that surrounds the target and uses differential filtering with a FUJI-film image plate detector. The contribution of secondary sources such as X-rays and protons to the measured signal have been taken into account to aid in the retrieval of the electron signal. Angular and spectral data from a high-intensity laser-solid interaction are presented and accompanied by simulations. The total number of emitted electrons has been measured as 2.6 × 1013 with an estimated total energy of 12 ± 1 J from a 100 mu;m Cu target with140 J of incident laser energy during a 4 × 1020 W cm-2 interaction.

Original languageEnglish
Article number475810505
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Plasma Physics
Issue number5
Early online date13 Jul 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2015


  • relativistic electrons
  • laser–solid interaction
  • high-energy ions
  • laser energy


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