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

  • D. R. Rusby (a1) (a2), L. A. Wilson (a1), R. J. Gray (a2), R. J. Dance (a2), N. M. H. Butler (a2), D. A. MacLellan (a2), G. G. Scott (a1), V. Bagnoud (a3), B. Zielbauer (a3), P. McKenna (a2) and D. Neely (a1) (a2)...


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 a target-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 $2.6\times 10^{13}$ with an estimated total energy of $12\pm 1~\text{J}$ from a $100~{\rm\mu}\text{m}$ Cu target with 140 J of incident laser energy during a $4\times 10^{20}~\text{W}~\text{cm}^{-2}$ interaction.

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