Relativistic plasma surfaces as an efficient second harmonic generator

M. J. V. Streeter, P. S. Foster, F. H. Cameron, M. Borghesi, C. Brenner, D. C. Carroll, E. Divall, N. P. Dover, B. Dromey, P. Gallegos, J. S. Green, S. Hawkes, C. J. Hooker, S. Kar, P. McKenna, S. R. Nagel, Z. Najmudin, C. A. J. Palmer, R. Prasad, K. E. QuinnP. P. Rajeev, A. P. L. Robinson, L. Romagnani, J. Schreiber, C. Spindloe, S. Ter-Avetisyan, O. Tresca, M. Zepf, D. Neely

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We report on the characterization of the specular reflection of 50 fs laser pulses in the intensity range 10(17)-10(21)Wcm(-2) obliquely incident with p-polarization onto solid density plasmas. These measurements show that the absorbed energy fraction remains approximately constant and that second harmonic generation (SHG) achieves efficiencies of 22 +/- 8% for intensities approaching 10(21)Wcm(-2). A simple model based on the relativistic oscillating mirror concept reproduces the observed intensity scaling, indicating that this is the dominant process involved for these conditions. This method may prove to be superior to SHG by sum frequency mixing in crystals as it is free from dispersion and retains high spatial coherence at high intensity.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalNew Journal of Physics
Publication statusPublished - 24 Feb 2011


  • intensity
  • pulses
  • ultrashort
  • mirrors
  • specular reflection
  • absorbed energy fraction
  • second harmonic generation
  • spatial coherence


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