Skip to main content Accessibility help

Strong electromagnetic pulses generated in high-intensity short-pulse laser interactions with thin foil targets

  • P. Rączka (a1), J.-L. Dubois (a2), S. Hulin (a2), V. Tikhonchuk (a2), M. Rosiński (a1), A. Zaraś-Szydłowska (a1) and J. Badziak (a1)...


Measurements are reported of the target neutralization current, the target charge, and the tangential component of the magnetic field generated as a result of laser–target interaction by pulses with the energy in the range of 45–92 mJ on target and the pulse duration from 39 to 1000 fs. The experiment was performed at the Eclipse facility in CELIA, Bordeaux. The aim of the experiment was to extend investigations performed for the thick (mm scale) targets to the case of thin (μm thickness) targets in a way that would allow for a straightforward comparison of the results. We found that thin foil targets tend to generate 20–50% higher neutralization current and the target charge than the thick targets. The measurement of the tangential component of the magnetic field had shown that the initial spike is dominated by the 1 ns pulse consistent with the 1 ns pulse of the neutralization current, but there are some differences between targets of different types on sub-ns scale, which is an effect going beyond a simple picture of the target acting as an antenna. The sub-ns structure appears to be reproducible to surprising degree. We found that there is in general a linear correlation between the maximum value of the magnetic field and the maximum neutralization current, which supports the target-antenna picture, except for pulses 100s of fs long.


Corresponding author

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: P. Rączka, Division of Laser Plasma, Institute of Plasma Physics and Laser Microfusion, ul. Hery 23, 01-497 Warsaw, Poland. E-mail:


Hide All
Aspiotis, J.A., Barbieri, N., Bernath, R., Brown, C.G., Richardson, M. & Cooper, B.Y. (2006). Detection and analysis of RF emission generated by laser-matter interactions. Proc. SPIE 6219, 621908, 1–8.
Bateman, J.E. & Mead, M.J. (2012). Electromagnetic pulse generation in petawatt laser shots. Rutherford Appleton Laboratory Technical Report RAL-TR-2012-005, pp. 116.
Beg, F.N., Wei, M.S., Clark, E.L., Dangor, A.E., Evans, R.G., Gibbon, P., Gopal, A., Lancaster, K.L., Ledingham, K.W.D., McKenna, P., Norreys, P.A., Tatarakis, M., Zepf, M. & Krushelnick, K. (2004). Return current and proton emission from short pulse laser interactions with wire targets. Phys. Plasma 11, 28062813.
Benjamin, R.F., McCall, G.H. & Ehler, A.W. (1979). Measurement of return current in a laser-produced plasma. Phys. Rev. Lett. 42, 890893.
Bourgade, J.L., Marmoret, R., Dabron, S., Rosch, R., Troussel, P., Villette, B., Glebov, V., Shmayda, W.T., Gomme, J.C., Le Tonquese, Y., Aubard, F., Baggio, J., Bazzoli, S., Bonneau, F., Boutin, J.Y., Caillaud, T., Chollet, C., Combis, P., Disdier, L., Gazave, J., Girard, S., Gontier, D., Jaanimagi, P., Jacquet, H.P., Jadaud, J.P., Landoas, O., Legnedre, J., Leray, J.L., Maroni, R., Meyerhofer, D.D., Miquel, J.L., Marshall, F.J., Masclet-Gobin, I., Pien, G., Raimbourg, J., Reverdin, C., Richard, A., Rubing de Cervens, D., Sangster, C.T., Seaux, J.P., Soullie, G., Stoeckl, C., Thfoin, I., Videau, L. & Zuber, C. (2008). Diagnostics hardening for harsh environment in Laser Mégajoule. Rev. Sci. Instrum. 79, 10F301, 1–8.
Brown, C.G. Jr., Throop, A., Eder, D. & Kimbrough, J. (2008). Electromagnetic pulses at short-pulse laser facilities. J. Phys. Conf. Ser. 112, 032025, 1–4.
Brown, C.G. Jr., Bond, E., Clancy, T., Dangi, S., Eder, D.C., Ferguson, W., Kimbrough, J. & Throop, A. (2010). Assessment and mitigation of electromagnetic pulse (EMP) impacts at short-pulse laser facilities. J. Phys. Conf. Ser. 244, 032001, 1–4.
Brown, C.G. Jr., Ayers, J., Felker, B., Ferguson, W., Holder, J.P., Nagel, S.R., Piston, K.W., Simanovskaia, N., Throop, A.L., Chung, M. & Hilsabeck, T. (2012). Assessment and mitigation of diagnostic-generated electromagnetic interference at the National Ignition Facility. Rev. Sci. Instrum. 83, 10D729, 1–3.
Brown, C.G. Jr., Clancy, T.J., Eder, D.C., Ferguson, W. & Throop, A.L. (2013). Analysis of electromagnetic pulse (EMP) measurements in the National Ignition Facility's target bay and chamber. EPJ Web Conf. 59, 08012, 1–4.
Chen, Z.-Y., Li, J.-F., Li, J. & Peng, Q.-X. (2011). Microwave radiation mechanism in a pulse-laser-irradiated Cu foil target revisited. Phys. Scr. 83, 055503, 1–4.
Cikhardt, J., Krása, J., De Marco, M., Pfeifer, M., Velyhan, A., Krouský, E., Cikhardtová, B., Klír, D., Řezáč, K., Ullschmied, J., Skála, J., Kubeš, P. & Kravárik, J. (2014). Measurement of the target current by inductive probe during laser interaction on terawatt laser system PALS. Rev. Sci. Instrum. 85, 103507, 1–6.
Consoli, F., De Angelis, R., Andreoli, P., Cristorafi, G., Di Giorgio, G., Bonasera, A., Barbui, M., Mazzocco, M., Bang, W., Dyer, G., Quevedo, H., Hagel, K., Schmidt, K., Gaul, E., Borger, T., Bernstein, A., Martinex, M., Donovan, M., Barbarino, M., Kimura, S., Sura, J., Natowits, J. & Ditmire, T. (2013). Diagnostics improvement in the ABC facility and preliminary tests on laser interaction with light-atom clusters and p-11B targets. Nucl. Instrum. Methods Phys. Res. A720, 149152.
Consoli, F., De Angelis, R., Andreoli, P., Cipriani, M., Cristofari, G., Di Giorgio, G. & Ingenito, F. (2015 a). Experiments on electromagnetic pulse (EMP) generated by laser-plasma interaction in nanosecond regime. Proceedings of the 2015 15th International Conference on Environment and Electrical Engineering (EEEIC 2015), 10–13 June 2015, Rome, Italy, pp. 182187.
Consoli, F., De Angelis, R., Andreoli, P., Cristofari, G. & Di Giorgio, G. (2015 b). Measurement of the radiofrequency-microwave pulse produced in experiments of laser-plasma interaction in the ABC laser facility. Phys. Proc. 62, 1117.
Consoli, F., De Angelis, R., Duvillaret, L., Andreoli, P.L., Cipriani, M., Cristofari, G., Di Giorgio, G., Ingenito, F. & Verona, C. (2016). Time-resolved absolute measurements by electro-optic effect of giant electromagnetic pulses due to laser-plasma interaction in nanosecond regime. Sci. Rep. 6, 27889, 1–8.
De Marco, M., Pfeifer, M., Krousky, E., Krasa, J., Cikhardt, J., Klir, D. & Nassisi, V. (2014). Basic features of electromagnetic pulse generated in a laser-target chamber at 3-TW laser facility PALS. J. Phys. Conf. Ser. 508, 012007, 1–4.
De Marco, M., Krása, J., Cikhardt, J., Pfeifer, M., Krouský, E., Margarone, D., Ahmed, H., Borghesi, M., Kar, S., Giuffrida, L., Vrana, R., Velyhan, A., Limpouch, J., Korn, G., Weber, S., Velardi, L., Delle Side, D., Nassisi, V. & Ullschmied, J. (2016). Measurement of electromagnetic pulses generated during interactions of high power lasers with solid targets. J. Instrum. 11, C06004, 1–8.
De Marco, M., Krása, J., Cikhardt, J., Velyhan, A., Pfeifer, M., Dudžák, R., Dostál, J., Krouský, E., Limpouch, J., Pisarczyk, T., Kalinowska, Z., Chodukowski, T., Ullschmied, J., Giuffrida, L., Chatain, D., Perin, J.-P. & Margarone, D. (2017). Electromagnetic pulse (EMP) radiation by laser interaction with a solid H2 ribbon. Phys. Plasma 24, 083103, 1–6.
Dubois, J.-L. (2017). Private information.
Dubois, J.-L., Lubrano-Lavaderci, F., Raffestin, D., Ribolzi, J., Gazave, J., Compant La Fontaine, A., D'Humiè, E., Hulin, S., Nicolaï, P., Poyé, A. & Tikhonchuk, V.T. (2014). Target charging in short-pulse-laser–plasma experiments. Phys. Rev. E89, 013102, 1–15.
Eder, D.C., Throop, A., Brown, C.G. Jr., Kimbrough, J., Stowell, M.L., White, D.A., Song, P., Back, N., MacPhee, A., Chen, H., DeHope, W., Ping, Y., Maddox, B., Lister, J., Pratt, G., Ma, T., Tsui, Y., Perkins, M., O'Brien, D. & Patel, P. (2009). Mitigation of Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Effects from Short-Pulse Lasers and Fusion Neutrons. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Technical Report LLNL-TR-411183, pp. 135.
Eder, D.C., Anderson, R.W., Bailey, D.S., Bell, P., Benson, D.J., Bertozzi, A.L., Bittle, W., Bradley, D., Brown, C.G., Clancy, T.J., Chen, H., Chevalier, J.M., Combis, P., Dauffy, L., Debonnel, C.S., Eckart, M.J., Fisher, A.C., Geille, A., Glebov, V.Y., Holder, J., Jadaud, J.P., Jones, O., Kaiser, T.B., Kalantar, D., Khater, H., Kimbrough, J., Koniges, A.E., Landen, O.L., MacGowan, B.J., Masters, N.D., MacPhee, A., Maddox, B.R., Meyers, M., Osher, S., Prasad, R., Faffestin, D., Raimbourg, J., Rekow, V., Sangster, C., Song, P., Stoeckl, C., Stowell, M.L., Teran, J.M., Throop, A., Tommasini, R., Vierne, J., White, D. & Whitman, P. (2010). Assessment and mitigation of radiation, EMP, Debris & Shrapnel impacts at megajoule-class laser facilities. J. Phys. Conf. Ser. 244, 032018, 1–4.
Felber, F.S. (2005). Dipole radio-frequency power from laser plasmas with no dipole moment. Appl. Phys. Lett. 86, 231501, 1–3.
Jackson, J. (1999). Classical Electrodynamics, 3rd edn. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
Krása, J., Delle Side, D., Giuffreda, E. & Nassisi, V. (2015). Characteristics of target polarization by laser ablation. Laser Part. Beams 33, 601604.
Krása, J., De Marco, M., Cikhardt, J., Pfeifer, M., Velyhan, A., Klír, D., Řezáč, K., Limpouch, J., Krouský, E., Dostál, J., Ullschmied, J. & Dudžák, R. (2017 a). Spectral and temporal characteristics of target current and electromagnetic pulse induced by nanosecond laser ablation. Plasma Phys. Control. Fusion 59, 065007, 1–8.
Krása, J., Giuffreda, E., Delle Side, D., Nassisi, V., Klír, D., Cikhardt, J. & Řezáč, K. (2017 b). Target current: a useful parameter for characterizing laser ablation. Laser Part. Beams 35, 170176.
Mead, M.J., Neely, D., Gauoin, J., Heathcote, R. & Patel, P. (2004). Electromagnetic pulse generation within a petawatt laser target chamber. Rev. Sci. Instrum. 75, 42254227.
Miragliotta, J.A., Brawley, B., Sailor, C., Spicer, J.B. & Spicer, J.W.M. (2011). Detection of microwave emission from solid targets ablated with an ultrashort pulsed laser. Proc. SPIE 8037, 80370N, 1–8.
Pearlman, J.S. & Dahlbacka, G.H. (1977). Charge separation and target voltages in laser-produced plasmas. Appl. Phys. Lett. 31, 414417.
Pearlman, J.S. & Dahlbacka, G.H. (1978). Emission of rf radiation from laser-produced plasma. J. Appl. Phys. 49, 457459.
Poyé, A., Hulin, S., Bailly-Grandvaux, M., Dubois, J.-L., Ribolzi, J., Raffestin, D., Bardon, M., Lubrano-Lavaderci, F., D'Humières, E., Santos, J.J., Nicolaï, Ph. & Tikhonchuk, V. (2015 a). Physics of giant electromagnetic pulse generation in short-pulse laser experiments. Phys. Rev. E 91, 043106, 1–6.
Poyé, A., Dubois, J.-L., Lubrano-Lavaderci, F., D'Humières, E., Bardon, M., Hulin, S., Bailly-Grandvaux, M., Ribolzi, J., Raffestin, D., Santos, J.J., Nicolaï, Ph. & Tikhonchuk, V. (2015 b). Dynamic model of target charging by short laser pulse interactions. Phys. Rev. E 92, 043107, 1–17.
Price, C.J., Donnelly, T.D., Giltrap, S., Stuart, N.H., Parker, S., Patankar, S., Lowe, H.F., Drew, D., Gumbrell, E.T. & Smith, R.A. (2015). An in-vacuo optical levitation trap for high-intensity laser interaction experiments with isolated microtargets. Rev. Sci. Instrum. 86, 033502, 18.
Quinn, K., Wilson, P.A., Ramakrishna, B., Sarri, G., Romagnani, L., Pipahl, A., Willi, O., Lancia, L., Fuchs, J., Carroll, D.C., Quinn, M.N., Gallegos, P., Yuan, X.H., McKenna, P., Clarke, R.J., Neely, D., Motley, M., Macchi, A. & Borghesi, M. (2009). Observation of the transient charging of a laser-irradiated solid. Eur. Phys. J. D 55, 293297.
Raimbourg, J. (2004). Electromagnetic compatibility management for fast diagnostic design. Rev. Sci. Instrum. 75, 42344236.
Remo, J.L., Adams, R.G. & Jones, M.C. (2007). Atmospheric electromagnetic pulse propagation effects from thick targets in a terawatt laser target chamber. Appl. Opt. 46, 61666175.
Robinson, T.S., Consoli, F., Giltrap, S., Eardley, S.J., Hicks, G.S., Ditter, E.J., Ettlinger, O., Stuart, N.H., Notlley, M., De Angelis, R., Najmudin, Z. & Smith, R.A. (2017). Low-noise time-resolved optical sensing of electromagnetic pulses from petawatt laser-matter interactions. Sci. Rep. 7, 983, 1–12.
Stoeckl, C., Glebov, V., Jaanimagi, P.A., Knauer, J.P., Meyerhofer, D.D., Sangster, T.C., Storm, M., Sublett, S., Theobald, W., Key, M.H., MacKinnon, A.J., Patel, P., Neely, D. & Norreys, P.A. (2006). Operation of target diagnostics in a petawatt laser environment. Rev. Sci. Instrum. 77, 10F506.
Varma, S., Spicer, J., Brawley, B. & Miragliotta, J. (2014). Plasma enhancement of femtosecond laser-induced electromagnetic pulses at metal and dielectric surfaces. Opt. Eng. 53, 051515, 1–5.
Yi, T., Yang, J., Yang, M., Wang, C., Yang, W., Li, T., Liu, S., Jiang, S., Ding, Y. & Xiao, S. (2016). Investigation into the electromagnetic impulses from long-pulse laser illuminating solid targets inside a laser facility. Photonic Sens. 6, 249255.



Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed