Electron-Nanobunch-Width-Dominated Spectral Power Law for Relativistic Harmonic Generation from Ultrathin Foils

Matthew R. Edwards, Nicholas M. Fasano, Julia M. Mikhailova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Relativistic high-order harmonic generation from solid-density plasma offers a compact source of coherent ultraviolet and x-ray light. For solid targets much thinner than the laser wavelength, the plasma thickness can be tuned to increase conversion efficiency; a reduction in total charge allows for balancing the laser and plasma driving forces, producing the most effective interaction. Unlike for semi-infinite plasma surfaces, we find that for ultrathin foil targets the dominant factor in the emission spectral shape is the finite width of the electron nanobunches, leading to a power-law exponent of approximately 10/3. Ultrathin foils produce higher-efficiency frequency conversion than solid targets for moderately relativistic (1<a0<40) interactions and also provide unique insight into how the trajectories of individual electrons combine and interfere to generate reflected attosecond pulses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number185004
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number18
StatePublished - May 8 2020
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


Dive into the research topics of 'Electron-Nanobunch-Width-Dominated Spectral Power Law for Relativistic Harmonic Generation from Ultrathin Foils'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this