a1 Beijing National Laboratory of Condensed Matter Physics, Institute of Physics, CAS, Beijing 100190, China (email@example.com)
a2 Key Laboratory for Laser Plasmas (Ministry of Education) and Department of Physics, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China
a3 Graduate School of Engineering, Utsunomiya University, 7-1-2 Yohtoh, Utsunomiya 321-8585, Japan
a4 Institute of Applied Physics and Computational Mathematics, Beijing 100094, China
Energetic electron beam generation from a thin foil target by the ponderomotive force of an ultra-intense circularly polarized laser pulse is investigated. Two-dimensional particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations show that laser pulses with intensity of 1022–1023 Wcm−2 generate about 1–10 GeV electron beams, in agreement with the prediction of one-dimensional theory. When the laser intensity is at 1024–1025 Wcm−2, the beam energy obtained from PIC simulations is lower than the values predicted by the theory. The radiation damping effect is considered, which is found to become important for the laser intensity higher than 1025 Wcm−2. The effect of laser focus positions is also discussed.
(Received October 31 2011)
(Accepted April 02 2012)
(Online publication May 04 2012)