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12 March 2001 Backscattering of ultrashort high-intensity laser pulses from solid targets at oblique incidence
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Back reflection of short, intense laser pulses at oblique incidence on solid targets is explained with a model where a periodic electron density modulation acts as a diffraction grating. The pump and reflected electromagnetic waves drive through the ponderomotive force the grating and the overall system becomes parametrically unstable. The basic equations governing this system are given. A linearized stability analysis yields the instability growth rate for a homogeneous plasma and the convective gain coefficients for the inhomogeneous case. The results support the feasibility of the suggested mechanism. An absolute instability is predicted to set on at a typical threshold intensity 1016 W/cm2, laser pulse length 100 fs, and spot size 30 micrometers . The instability is shown to saturate at a level of a few percent, because the higher harmonics in the electron density modulation turn the diffraction more diffuse thus reducing both the sustaining ponderomotive force and the back reflection coefficient.
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Aleksandr A. Andreev, Konstantin Y. Platonov, and Rainer R. E. Salomaa "Backscattering of ultrashort high-intensity laser pulses from solid targets at oblique incidence", Proc. SPIE 4352, Laser Optics 2000: Ultrafast Optics and Superstrong Laser Fields, (12 March 2001);

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