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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Physics and Astronomy