The influences of lateral target size on hot electron production and electromagnetic pulse emission from laser interaction with metallic targets have been investigated. Particle-in-cell simulations at high laser intensities show that the yield of hot electrons tends to increase with lateral target size, because the larger surface area reduces the electrostatic field on the target, owing to its expansion along the target surface. At lower laser intensities and longer time scales, experimental data characterizing electromagnetic pulse emission as a function of lateral target size also show target-size effects. Charge separation and a larger target tending to have a lower target potential have both been observed. The increase in radiation strength and downshift in radiation frequency with increasing lateral target size can be interpreted using a simple model of the electrical capacity of the target.

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