The aim of this work is to develop a new diagnostic method to probe preplasma properties in laser-plasma interaction experiments, using the time-resolved measurement of the laser pulse reflected by the plasma. Its spectral change over time can be attributed to the motion of the critical-density position of the plasma, which can be correlated with the preplasma properties that are present at the beginning of the interaction.
2-D particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations showed a correlation between the acceleration of the reflection point into the plasma and the density scale length. This has also been confirmed by an analytical description of the holeboring velocity and acceleration, which has been developed to include the effect of the preplasma scale length.
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