Terahertz emission from submicron solid targets irradiated by ultraintense femtosecond laser pulses

Physics of Plasmas, Volume 27, Issue 9, September 2020. Using high-resolution, two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations, we investigate numerically the mechanisms of terahertz (THz) emissions in sub-micrometer-thick carbon solid foils driven by ultraintense ([math]), ultrashort ([math]) laser pulses at normal incidence. The considered range of target thicknesses extends down to the relativistic transparency regime that is known to optimize ion acceleration by femtosecond laser pulses. By disentangling the fields emitted by longitudinal and transverse currents, our analysis reveals that, within the first picosecond after the interaction, THz emission occurs in bursts as a result of coherent transition radiation by the recirculating hot electrons and antenna-type emission by the shielding electron currents traveling along the fast-expanding target surfaces.