Self-consistent simulations of the ultrafast electron dynamics in thin metal films were performed. A regime of nonlinear oscillations was observed that corresponds to ballistic electrons bouncing back and forth against the films' 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.
© 2005 Optical Society of America
Giovanni Manfredi and Paul-Antoine Hervieux, "Nonlinear absorption of ultrashort laser pulses in thin metal films," Opt. Lett. 30, 3090-3092 (2005)