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Our recent experimental results demonstrate that the formation of plasma jets is a fundamental process accompanying the laser produced plasma expansion, if a massive planar target with relatively high atomic number is irradiated by a defocused laser beam. In this paper some new results on the influence of target irradiation conditions on plasma jet parameters are presented. The experiment was carried out at the PALS iodine laser facility, with the third harmonic beam of the pulse duration of 250 ps (FWHM). The beam energies varied in the range of 13–160 J, the focal spot radii in the range of 35–600 µm. The planar massive targets used in the experiment were made of Cu, Ag and Ta. For measurements of the electron density evolution a three frame interferometric system was employed. The jets were observed in the whole range of the laser energy used. The initial velocities of the plasma jets produced in the reported experiment reached the value of up to 7·107 cm/s, the jets were up to 4 mm long including the jet pedestal and about 400 µm in diameter. Calculations of the efficiency of the plasma jet production show that it decreases with increasing the laser energy.
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