Relativistic Plasmonics for Ultra-Short Radiation Sources

Abstract : Plasmonics studies how the electromagnetic radiation couples with the collective oscillations of the electrons within a medium. Surface plasmons (SPs), in particular, have a well-established role in the development of forefront photonic devices, as they allow for strong enhancement of the local EM field over sub-micrometric dimensions. Promoting the SP excitation to the high-field regime, where the electrons quiver at relativistic velocities, would open stimulating perspectives for the both the manipulation of ultra-intense laser light and the development of energetic, short radiation sources. Indeed, the excitation of resonant plasma modes is a possible strategy to efficiently deliver the energy of a high-power laser to a solid target, this being among the current challenges in the physics of highly-intense laser-matter interaction. Gathering these topics, this thesis demonstrates the opportunity of resonant surface plasmon excitation at ultra-high laser intensities by studying how such waves accelerate bunches of relativistic electrons along the target surface and how they enhance the generation of high-order harmonics of the laser frequency. Both these processes have been investigated with numerous experiments and extensive numerical simulations. Adopting a standard configuration from classical plasmonics, SPs are excited on solid, wavelength-scale grating targets. In their presence, both electron and harmonic emissions exhibit remarkable features that support the conception of practical applications. Putting aside some major technical and conceptual issues discouraging the applicability of plasmonic effects in the high-field regime, these results are expected to mark new promises to the exploration of Relativistic Plasmonics.
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  • HAL Id : tel-01720024, version 1

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Giada Cantono. Relativistic Plasmonics for Ultra-Short Radiation Sources. Plasma Physics [physics.plasm-ph]. Université Paris-Saclay; Università degli studi (Pise, Italie), 2017. English. ⟨NNT : 2017SACLS353⟩. ⟨tel-01720024⟩

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