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Anomalous Relativistic Emission from Self-Modulated Plasma Mirrors
preprintposted on 2023-02-18, 17:01 authored by Marcel Lamač, Kunioki Mima, Jaroslav Nejdl, Uddhab Chaulagain, Sergey Vladimirovich Bulanov
The interaction of relativistically intense laser pulse with a plasma mirror produces harmonics of the incident frequency co-propagating in the direction of specular reflection due to the plasma mirror surface oscillating with velocity close to the speed of light. This mechanism has shown its potential for realization of a bright source of extreme ultraviolet radiation and attosecond pulses. Here, we reveal an unexpected transition of this well-known process into a new regime of efficient extreme ultraviolet radiation generation. A novel mechanism of relativistic emission of radiation from plasma mirrors is identified with an extraordinary property that instead of following specular reflection, the radiation is emitted in the direction along the plasma mirror surface. With analytical calculations and numerical particle-in-cell simulations, we show that this radiation originates from laser-driven non-linear oscillations of relativistic electron nanobunches that are generated by a plasma surface instability and propagate along the plasma mirror surface.