Hotelectron transport along the target surface out of the laser-irradiatedspot plays an important role in such applications as ionacceleration or fast ignition of fusion reactions. In this paper,the lateral electron transport in a thin foil, limited intransverse sizes, is studied by numerical particle-in-cell simulations for twolinear polarizations (p and s) of femtosecond laser pulse incidenton a foil at various angles. Two mechanisms of thetransport are identified: the first one is due to hotelectron recirculation across the foil and the second is electronguiding along the foil surface by quasistatic magnetic and electricfields. It is demonstrated that the second mechanism takes placefor larger incidence angles, although the recirculation is still important.The ions accelerated from a lateral foil edge, which isout of the laser focal spot, can have higher energiesthan the ions from the rear foil side.
©2010 American Institute of Physics
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