Electron excitation from femtosecond laser interactions with dense matter

Drake Austin, Ohio State University
May 19, 2017, 1:00 - 2:00pm, SERF 232



Femtosecond laser-matter interactions are ultimately governed by the response of the material's electrons to the incident light. At high intensities (~10^13 W/cm^2), electrons can become ionized, leading to the formation of an electron-hole plasma. This allows for greater absorption of laser energy for the remainder of the pulse, ultimately leading to ablation of material. Additionally, plasma waves formed on the surface can interfere with the incident laser light, leading to the formation of laser-induced periodic surface structures (LIPSS) after multiple pulses. At ultra-high intensities (~10^18 W/cm^2), electrons within the plasma can be accelerated to relativistic energies exceeding 1 MeV. In this talk, I will describe mechanisms of electron excitation, their influence on ablation and LIPSS formation at near- and mid-infrared wavelengths, and the emission of relativistic electrons from a pre-formed plasma target.



Drake Austin is a Ph.D. student at the Femtosecond Solid Dynamics Laboratory (Chowdhury group), Department of Physics, The Ohio State University. His research topics include laser acceleration of relativistic electrons at high repetition rates, high-intensity ultrafast laser interactions with non-metal crystals, laser-induced periodic surface structure formation, and mid-IR laser damage of materials.

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