We report on the picosecond dynamics of a near-solid-density plasma generated by an intense, infrared (λ = 800 nm) femtosecond laser using time-resolved pump-probe Doppler spectrometry. An initial red-shift is observed in the reflected third harmonic (λ = 266 nm) probe pulse, which gets blue-shifted at longer probe-delays. A combination of particle-in-cell and radiation-hydrodynamics modelling is performed to model the pump laser interaction with the solid target. The results are post-processed to predict the Doppler shift. An excellent agreement is found between the results of such modelling and the experiment. The modelling suggests that the initial inward motion of the critical surface observed in the experiment is due to the passage of a shock-wave-like disturbance, launched by the pump interaction, propagating into the target. Furthermore, in order to achieve the best possible fit to the experimental data, it was necessary to incorporate the effects of bulk ion-acceleration resulting from the electrostatic field set up by the expulsion of electrons from the laser envelope. We also present results of time-resolved pump-probe reflectometry, which are corroborated with the spectrometry results using a 1-D reflectivity model.
Ultrafast dynamics of a near-solid-density layer in an intense femtosecond laser-excited plasma
Amitava Adak, David R. Blackman, Gourab Chatterjee, Prashant Kumar Singh, Amit D. Lad, P. Brijesh, A. P. L. Robinson, John Pasley, G. Ravindra Kumar; Ultrafast dynamics of a near-solid-density layer in an intense femtosecond laser-excited plasma. Phys. Plasmas 1 June 2014; 21 (6): 062704. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4882675
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