Direct Observation of Density-Gradient Effects in Harmonic Generation from Plasma Mirrors

S. Kahaly*, S. Monchocé, H. Vincenti, T. Dzelzainis, B. Dromey, M. Zepf, Ph Martin, F. Quéré

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Citations (Scopus)


High-order harmonics and attosecond pulses of light can be generated when ultraintense, ultrashort laser pulses reflect off a solid-density plasma with a sharp vacuum interface, i.e., a plasma mirror. We demonstrate experimentally the key influence of the steepness of the plasma-vacuum interface on the interaction, by measuring the spectral and spatial properties of harmonics generated on a plasma mirror whose initial density gradient scale length L is continuously varied. Time-resolved interferometry is used to separately measure this scale length. 

Original languageEnglish
Article number175001
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 22 Apr 2013



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