Ultrafast evolution of electric fields from high-intensity laser-matter interactions

R. Pompili*, M. P. Anania, F. Bisesto, M. Botton, E. Chiadroni, A. Cianchi, A. Curcio, M. Ferrario, M. Galletti, Z. Henis, M. Petrarca, E. Schleifer, A. Zigler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The interaction of high-power ultra-short lasers with materials offers fascinating wealth of transient phenomena which are in the core of novel scientific research. Deciphering its evolution is a complicated task that strongly depends on the details of the early phase of the interaction, which acts as complex initial conditions. The entire process, moreover, is difficult to probe since it develops close to target on the sub-picosecond timescale and ends after some picoseconds. Here we present experimental results related to the fields and charges generated by the interaction of an ultra-short high-intensity laser with metallic targets. The temporal evolution of the interaction is probed with a novel femtosecond resolution diagnostics that enables the differentiation of the contribution by the high-energy forerunner electrons and the radiated electromagnetic pulses generated by the currents of the remaining charges on the target surface. Our results provide a snapshot of huge pulses, up to 0.6 teravolt per meter, emitted with multi-megaelectronvolt electron bunches with sub-picosecond duration and are able to explore the processes involved in laser-matter interactions at the femtosecond timescale.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number3243
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2018

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