Attosecond plasma wave dynamics in laser-driven cluster nanoplasmas

  • Varin C
  • Peltz C
  • Brabec T
 et al. 
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We introduce a microscopic particle-in-cell approach that allows bridging the microscopic and macroscopic realms of laser-driven plasma physics. As a first application, resonantly driven cluster nanoplasmas are investigated. Our analysis reveals an attosecond plasma-wave dynamics in clusters with radii R≃30 nm. The plasma waves are excited by electrons recolliding with the cluster surface and travel toward the center, where they collide and break. In this process, energetic electron hot spots are generated along with highly localized attosecond electric field fluctuations, whose intensity exceeds the driving laser by more than 2 orders of magnitude. The ionization enhancement resulting from both effects generates a strongly nonuniform ion charge distribution. The observed nonlinear plasma-wave phenomena have a profound effect on the ionization dynamics of nanoparticles and offer a route to extreme nanoplasmonic field enhancements.

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