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Physics  2005 

Nonlinear absorption of ultrashort laser pulses in thin metal films

DOI: 10.1364/OL.30.003090

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Self-consistent simulations of the ultrafast electron dynamics in thin metal films are performed. A regime of nonlinear oscillations is observed, which corresponds to ballistic electrons bouncing back and forth against the film surfaces. When an oscillatory laser field is applied to the film, the field energy is partially absorbed by the electron gas. Maximum absorption occurs when the period of the external field matches the period of the nonlinear oscillations, which, for sodium films, lies in the infrared range. Possible experimental implementations are discussed.


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