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Generation of a strong reverse shock wave in the interaction of a high-contrast high-intensity femtosecond laser pulse with a silicon target

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Published copy (DOI)


  • Kamalesh Jana
  • Amit D. Lad
  • Moniruzzaman Shaikh
  • V. Rakesh Kumar
  • Deep Sarkar
  • Yash M. Ved
  • John Pasley
  • Alex P. L. Robinson
  • G. Ravindra Kumar


Publication details

JournalApplied Physics Letters
DateSubmitted - 29 Mar 2019
DateAccepted/In press - 9 Jun 2019
DatePublished (current) - 25 Jun 2019
Number of pages4
Original languageEnglish


We present ultrafast pump-probe reflectivity and Doppler spectrometry of a silicon target at relativistic laser intensity. We observe an unexpected rise in reflectivity to a peak approximately9 ps after the main pulse interaction with the target. This occurs after the reflectivity has fallen off from the initially high “plasma-mirror” phase. Simultaneously measured time-dependent Doppler shift data show an increase in the blue shift at the same time. Numerical simulations show that the aforementioned trends in the experimental measurements correspond to a strong shock wave propagating back toward the laser. The relativistic laser-plasma interaction indirectly heats the cool-dense (ne 10^23 cm^-3 and Te ~10eV) target material adjacent to the corona, by hot electron induced return current heating, raising its temperature to around 150eV and causing it to explode violently. The increase in reflectivity is caused by the transient steepening of the plasma density gradient at the probe critical surface due to this explosive behavior.

Bibliographical note

4 pages, 4 figures
© 2019 Author(s). This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details.

    Research areas

  • physics.plasm-ph

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