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Investigation of light absorption, energy transfer, and plasma dynamic processes in laser-irradiated targets of low average density

  • A.E. BUGROV (a1), I.N. BURDONSKII (a2), V.V. GAVRILOV (a2), A.Yu. GOL'TSOV (a1), S.Yu. GUS'KOV (a1), N.G. KOVAL'SKII (a2), V.N. KONDRASHOV (a2), S.F. MEDOVSHCHIKOV (a2), M.I. PERGAMENT (a2), V.M. PETRYAKOV (a2), V.B. ROSANOV (a2) and E.V. ZHUZHUKALO (a2)...

Abstract

The interaction of powerful laser and X-ray pulses with planar low average density (0.5–10 mg/cm3) porous agar-agar targets was experimentally studied. At a laser power density of ∼5 × 1013 W/cm2 (λ = 1.054 μm) the laser light absorption and following energy transfer processes, as well as dynamics of produced plasma were investigated in detail with a variety of optical and X-ray diagnostic methods. Volume absorption is shown to occur in experiments with laser-irradiated agar targets. An extended laser energy deposition region filled with hot (0.8–1 keV) plasma is formed inside a porous target. The laser light absorption efficiency is as high as ∼80%. The emission of 2ω0 and 3ω0/2 harmonics from laser-produced plasma is observed over the time of the laser pulse even with agar targets of 0.5 mg/cm3 average density. Characteristics of energy transfer in low-density porous media are measured in experiments on illumination of agar targets by laser pulses or X rays emitted by a thin Cu converter. The hydrodynamic mechanism is responsible for the energy transfer in laser-illuminated porous targets and the radiative energy transfer seems to be dominant in the case of X-ray irradiation. The experimental data are in reasonable agreement with predictions of a developed theoretical model describing the hot plasma layer formation and the two-stage homogenization process within the illuminated porous targets.

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