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Persistent URL http://purl.org/net/epubs/work/49614
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Record Id 49614
Title Laser heating of large noble gas clusters : from the resonant to the relativistic interaction regimes
Abstract Wide ranging measurements of sub-picosecond laser interactions with noble gas cluster targets have been conducted in order to help clarify the nature and extent of the underlying laser-plasma heating. Within the sub-relativistic vacuum irradiance range of 10^16 to 10^17 Wcm^-2, we find that electron temperatures measured with continuum x-ray spectroscopy exhibit a pronounced multi-keV enhancement. Analysis indicates this behaviour to be consistent with collisional or collisionless resonant heating mechanisms. We also present the first measurements of laser-to-cluster energy deposition at relativistic vacuum irradiances, our data demonstrating absorption fractions of 90% or more. Optical probing was used to resolve the onset of a supersonic ionization front resulting from this very high absorption, and shows that despite significant pre-focus heating the greatest plasma energy densities can be generated about the vacuum focus position. Electron energy spectra measurements confirm that laser-plasma super-heating occurs, and together with ion data establish that relativistic laser-plasma coupling in atomic clusters can take place without significant MeV particle beam production. In conjunction with optical self-emission data, the optical probing also indicates laser pre-pulse effects at peak vacuum irradiance of 5 x 10^19 Wcm^-2. Laser absorption, plasma heating and energy transport data are supported throughout with analytical and numerical modelling.
Organisation CLF , CLF-HPL , STFC , CLF-VULCAN
Keywords 52.50.Jm , Physics
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Language English (EN)
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Journal Article New J Phys 10 (2008): 123011. doi:10.1088/1367-2630/10/12/123011 2008