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Enhancement of Kα yield from a metal foil covered with metal rods of submicron sizes, with low aspect ratio, irradiated by a p-polarized femtosecond laser pulses of about 1017 W/cm2 intensity is demonstrated. Obtained relative increase in Kα X-ray line emission is explained with a model of vacuum heating of fast electrons.
K-shell emission from copper target was observed by focusing femtosecond laser pulses very close to the target surface-air interface. It was shown that mechanism of X-ray emission is connected with generation of fast electrons in the air plasma area. Experiments demonstrated that moderate intensity of laser radiation (IL < 1015 W/cm2) was enough to produce considerable flux of X-ray photons of at least 10 keV energy. The parameters of generated X-ray emission were studied. It was found that after propagation through 40 cm thick air layer X-ray spectra consisted of pronounced Kα and Kβ characteristic lines and relatively small Bremsstrahlung continuum. Since transversal source size has an order of a few tens of micrometers, such a source can be used for absorption imaging of micro-objects in standard laboratory conditions. That can be particularly important for diagnostic of medical and biological samples in vivo.
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