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The Centro de Laseres Pulsados in Salamanca, Spain has recently started operation phase and the first user access period on the 6 J 30 fs 200 TW system (VEGA 2) already started at the beginning of 2018. In this paper we report on two commissioning experiments recently performed on the VEGA 2 system in preparation for the user campaign. VEGA 2 system has been tested in different configurations depending on the focusing optics and targets used. One configuration (long focal length
cm) is for underdense laser–matter interaction where VEGA 2 is focused onto a low density gas-jet generating electron beams (via laser wake field acceleration mechanism) with maximum energy up to 500 MeV and an X-ray betatron source with a 10 keV critical energy. A second configuration (short focal length
cm) is for overdense laser–matter interaction where VEGA 2 is focused onto a
thick Al target generating a proton beam with a maximum energy of 10 MeV and temperature of 2.5 MeV. In this paper we present preliminary experimental results.
A new approach is proposed to analyze Bremsstrahlung X-rays that are emitted from laser-produced plasmas (LPP) and are measured by a stack type spectrometer. This new method is based on a spectral tomographic reconstruction concept with the variational principle for optimization, without referring to the electron energy distribution of a plasma. This approach is applied to the analysis of some experimental data obtained at a few major laser facilities to demonstrate the applicability of the method. Slope temperatures of X-rays from LPP are determined with a two-temperature model, showing different spectral characteristics of X-rays depending on laser properties used in the experiments.
The transport of relativistic electron beam in compressed cylindrical targets was studied from a numerical and experimental point of view. In the experiment, cylindrical targets were imploded using the Gekko XII laser facility of the Institute of Laser Engineering. Then the fast electron beam was created by shooting the LFEX laser beam. The penetration of fast electrons was studied by observing Kα emission from tracer layers in the target.
Fast-electron beam stopping mechanisms in media ranging from solid to warm dense matter have been investigated experimentally and numerically. Laser-driven fast electrons have been transported through solid Al targets and shock-compressed Al and plastic foam targets. Their propagation has been diagnosed via rear-side optical self-emission and Kα X-rays from tracer layers. Comparison between measurements and simulations shows that the transition from collision-dominated to resistive field-dominated energy loss occurs for a fast-electron current density ~5 × 1011 A cm−2. The respective increases in the stopping power with target density and resistivity have been detected in each regime. Self-guided propagation over 200μm has been observed in radially compressed targets due to ~1kT magnetic fields generated by resistivity gradients at the converging shock front.
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