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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.
We discuss the role of Configuration Interaction (CI) and the influence of the number of
configurations taken into account in the calculations of nickel and iron spectral
opacities provided by the OPAC international collaboration, including statistical
approaches (SCO, CASSANDRA, STA), detailed accounting (OPAS, LEDCOP, OP, HULLAC-v9) or
hybrid method (SCO-RCG). Opacity calculations are presented for a temperature T of 27.3 eV
and a density of 3.4 mg/cm3, conditions relevant for pulsating stellar
We used X-ray spectroscopy as a diagnostic tool for investigating the properties of laser-cluster interactions at the stage in which non-adiabatic cluster expansion takes place and a quasi-homogeneous plasma is produced. The experiment was carried out with a 10 TW, 65 fs Ti:Sa laser focused on CO2 cluster jets. The effect of different laser-pulse contrast ratios and cluster concentrations was investigated. The X-ray emission associated to the Rydberg transitions allowed us to retrieve, through the density and temperature of the emitting plasma, the time after the beginning of the interaction at which the emission occurred. The comparison of this value with the estimated time for the “homogeneous” plasma formation shows that the degree of adiabaticity depends on both the cluster concentration and the pulse contrast. Interferometric measurements support the X-ray data concerning the plasma electron density.
We report and discuss experimental results on the propagation of CPA pulses of moderately relativistic intensity in gas: they evidence the effects of the precursor pedestals of the main pulse. Details of great interest were observed for the first time with high quality femtosecond 90-degree interferometry. The interferometric data are also correlated with imaging and spectroscopy data of laser pulse transmitted through the gas. The most relevant physical features are confirmed by a numerical code which simulates the laser pulse propagation self-consistently with the ionization of the gas. We found that in this regime, the propagation of the intense femtosecond pulse is basically stable apart from very weak refractive effects. In order to allow propagation at fixed intensity along an optical path larger than the Rayleigh range, we performed a first successful attempt at producing hollow plasma channels able to guide the pulse.
An investigation of second harmonic (SH) and X-ray emissions from Al plasmas produced by 3-ns, 1.064-μm laser pulses at 1014 W/cm2 is reported. The SH and X-ray yields are strongly correlated as a function of the target position with respect to the laser beam focus. The SH originates from the underdense coronal plasma and has a filamentary source, while the X-ray source is uniform. The results suggest that, although the X-ray emission is significantly enhanced by the filamentation of the laser light in the corona, there is a smoothing effect in the energy transport process toward the overdense region.
We create hot (Te > 200 eV) and dense (Ne > 1023 cm−3) plasmas in the colliding zone of two thin foils accelerated by two laser beams of the LULI facilities. Three spectroscopic diagnostics (two 1D space-resolved spectrographs and a 2D monochromatic imaging) are used to drive the efficiency of the compression. We show that 2D effects are important. Realistic simulations of these experiments must be done, taking into account the inhomogeneity of the laser intensity in the focal spot, the foil distorsion, the plasma lateral expansion, and the lateral thermal conduction. Two-dimensional LASNEX code results are in good agreement with our experimental results. The optimized compressed plasmas generated are favorable for the exhibition of dense plasma effects due to molecular formations, and they reproduce in laboratory some astrophysical situations.
Far-field images produced using different random phase plates on a pulsed laser beam focused with variousf/numbers were recorded by a charge-coupled device (CCD) camera and then analyzed. Envelope spot sizes agree with diffraction theory while mean sizes of the pattern structures have been found to be larger than the diffraction limit. The probability density distribution of intensity in the focal plane is not the expected exponential. A central symmetry of the pattern has also been seen after suitably aperturing the beam. Some consequences for the use of powerful RPP-treated laser beams in laser-plasma interactions are discussed.
An experimental investigation on X-ray emission from laser-produced plasmas is presented and the properties of such an emission of interest for application purposes are examined. Plasmas were generated by focusing 1 μm, 3 ns Nd laser pulses onto Al and Cu targets at an intensity of 1013 W/cm2. The temporal evolution of the emission and its spectral features were investigated by using an X-ray streak-camera and an X-ray photodiode. In the case of Cu targets, the analysis of the emission showed two spectral components. The main component was centered at ≈ 1.2 keV and a minor component, whose intensity was measured to be 10-3 of the previous component, was observed at ≈7 keV. The X-ray conversion efficiency, in the investigated spectral region, was measured to be 1% for Cu targets and 0.3% for Al targets.
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