Study of transport of laser-driven relativistic electrons in solid materials
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With the ultra intense lasers available today, it is possible to generate very hot electron beams in solid density materials. These intense laser-matter interactions result in many applications which include the generation of ultrashort secondary sources of particles and radiation such as ions, neutrons, positrons, x-rays, or even laser-driven hadron therapy. For these applications to become reality, a comprehensive understanding of laser-driven energy transport including hot electron generation through the various mechanisms of ionization, and their subsequent transport in solid density media is required. This study will focus on the characterization of electron transport effects in solid density targets using the state-of- the-art particle-in-cell code PICLS. A number of simulation results will be presented on the topics of ionization propagation in insulator glass targets, non-equilibrium ionization mod- eling featuring electron impact ionization, and electron beam guiding by the self-generated resistive magnetic field. An empirically derived scaling relation for the resistive magnetic in terms of the laser parameters and material properties is presented and used to derive a guiding condition. This condition may prove useful for the design of future laser-matter interaction experiments.