Interaction of High Intensity Picosecond Laser Pulses with Large Pre-formed Plasmas

David Riley, R.A. Smith, A. Mackinnon, M.H.R. Hutchinson, O. Willi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The interaction of short (1-2 ps) laser pulses with solid targets at irradiances of over 1016 Wcm~2 , in the presence of a substantial prepulse has been investigated. High absorption of laser energy is found even at high angles of incidence, with evidence for a resonance absorption peak being found for S, P, and circular polarizations. It is considered that this may be a result of refraction and beam filamentation, which causes loss of distinct polarization. Measurements of hard X-ray emission (~ 100 keV) confirm a resonance absorption type peak at 45-50°, again for all three cases. Typically, 5-15% of the incident light is back-reflected by stimulated Brillouin scatter, with spatially resolved spectra showing evidence of beam hot-spots at high intensity. The possibility that filamentation and refraction of the beam can explain the lack of polarization dependence in the absorption and hard X-ray emission data is discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-113
Number of pages13
JournalLaser And Particle Beams
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1998


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