Applicability of J × B mechanism of MeV fast electron generation is clearly demonstrated through observation of directed electron beam along laser propagation direction (simultaneous emission also along laser polarization/transverse directions) in the interaction of ∼25 fs laser pulse with thin foil target at an intensity of 1–7 × 1019 W/cm2. Fast electron temperature is found to be lower (higher) than ponderomotive for shorter (longer) preplasma scale lengths. Role of pre-acceleration of electrons in the rising part of the laser pulse is suggested for observed efficient J × B acceleration for p-polarization case. 2D particle in cell simulation also supports the above-mentioned observations.

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