Abstract

The interaction of 100-fs Ti:sapphire laser pulses with thin foil targets was experimentally investigated at intensities exceeding 1018 W/cm2. High harmonics were observed in transmission through an overdense plasma in the direction of the incident beam. From the cutoff frequency of the harmonics an electron density of 1×1024 cm-3 is inferred, indicating a compression of the plasma by the ponderomotive force of the laser pulse.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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