Physical Review Letters 109 (2012)
The Fermi-degenerate plasma conditions created in liquid deuterium by a laser-ablation - driven shock wave were probed with noncollective, spectrally resolved, inelastic x-ray Thomson scattering employing Cl Lyα line emission at 2.96 keV. These first x-ray Thomson scattering measurements of the microscopic properties of shocked deuterium show an inferred spatially averaged electron temperature of 8±5 eV, an electron density of 2.2(±0.5)×1023 cm-3, and an ionization of 0.8 (-0.25, +0.15). Two-dimensional hydrodynamic simulations using equation-of-state models suited for the extreme parameters occurring in inertial confinement fusion research and planetary interiors are consistent with the experimental results. © 2012 American Physical Society.
Astrophysical Journal 749 (2012)
The subject of this paper is the design of practical laser experiments that can produce collisionless shocks mediated by the Weibel instability. Such shocks may be important in a wide range of astrophysical systems. Three issues are considered. The first issue is the implications of the fact that such experiments will produce expanding flows that are approximately homologous. As a result, both the velocity and the density of the interpenetrating plasma streams will be time dependent. The second issue is the implications of the linear theory of the Weibel instability. For the experiments, the instability is in a regime where standard simplifications do not apply. It appears feasible but non-trivial to obtain adequate growth. The third issue is collisionality. The need to keep resistive magnetic-field dissipation small enough implies that the plasmas should not be allowed to cool substantially. © 2012. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Energy transport in short-pulse-laser-heated targets measured using extreme ultraviolet laser backlighting
Physical Review E 86 (2012)
High Energy Density Physics 8 (2012) 307-312
Comparative merits of the memory function and dynamic local-field correction of the classical one-component plasma
PHYSICAL REVIEW E 85 (2012) ARTN 056407
High Energy Density Physics 8 (2012) 76-80
We combine experiments and theoretical models to characterize warm dense deuterium. A shockwave was driven in a planar target by the OMEGA laser without a standard pusher making the analysis independent of a quartz or aluminium pressure standard. The conditions of the shocked material were diagnosed with VISAR and optical pyrometry which yields the shock velocity (16.9 ± 0.9 km/s) and the temperature (0.57 ± 0.05 eV). We find a self-consistent description of the data when using ab initio simulations (DFT-MD), but not for other equation of state (EOS) models tested. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.
AIP Conference Proceedings 1462 (2012) 149-154
A review of the proton radiography technique will be presented. This technique employs laser-accelerated laminar bunches of protons to diagnose the temporal and spatial characteristic of the electric and magnetic fields generated during high-intensity laser-plasma interactions. The remarkable temporal and spatial resolution that this technique can achieve (of the order of a picosecond and a few microns respectively) candidates this technique as the preferrable one, if compared to other techniques, to probe high intensity laser-matterinteractions. © 2012 American Institute of Physics.
Sci Rep 2 (2012) 889-
Creating non-equilibrium states of matter with highly unequal electron and lattice temperatures (T(ele)≠T(ion)) allows unsurpassed insight into the dynamic coupling between electrons and ions through time-resolved energy relaxation measurements. Recent studies on low-temperature laser-heated graphite suggest a complex energy exchange when compared to other materials. To avoid problems related to surface preparation, crystal quality and poor understanding of the energy deposition and transport mechanisms, we apply a different energy deposition mechanism, via laser-accelerated protons, to isochorically and non-radiatively heat macroscopic graphite samples up to temperatures close to the melting threshold. Using time-resolved x ray diffraction, we show clear evidence of a very small electron-ion energy transfer, yielding approximately three times longer relaxation times than previously reported. This is indicative of the existence of an energy transfer bottleneck in non-equilibrium warm dense matter.
Physical Review Letters 108 (2012)
X-ray Thomson scattering has enabled us to measure the temperature of a shocked layer, produced in the laboratory, that is relevant to shocks emerging from supernovas. High energy lasers are used to create a shock in argon gas which is probed by x-ray scattering. The scattered, inelastic Compton feature allows inference of the electron temperature. It is measured to be 34 eV in the radiative precursor and ∼60eV near the shock. Comparison of energy fluxes implied by the data demonstrates that the shock wave is strongly radiative. © 2012 American Physical Society.
Characterizing counter-streaming interpenetrating plasmas relevant to astrophysical collisionless shocks
Physics of Plasmas 19 (2012)
A series of Omega experiments have produced and characterized high velocity counter-streaming plasma flows relevant for the creation of collisionless shocks. Single and double CH2 foils have been irradiated with a laser intensity of ∼ 1016 W/cm2. The laser ablated plasma was characterized 4 mm from the foil surface using Thomson scattering. A peak plasma flow velocity of 2000 km/s, an electron temperature of ∼ 110 eV, an ion temperature of ∼ 30 eV, and a density of ∼ 1018 cm -3 were measured in the single foil configuration. Significant increases in electron and ion temperatures were seen in the double foil geometry. The measured single foil plasma conditions were used to calculate the ion skin depth, c/ωpi ∼ 0.16 mm, the interaction length, lint, of ∼ 8 mm, and the Coulomb mean free path, λmfp ∼ 27 mm. With c/ωpi ≪ l int ≪λmfp, we are in a regime where collisionless shock formation is possible. © 2012 American Institute of Physics.
Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys 83 (2011) 015401-
We show that the hydrodynamic description can be applied to modeling the ionic response in dense plasmas for a wide range of length scales that are experimentally accessible. Using numerical simulations for the Yukawa model, we find that the maximum wave number k(max) at which the hydrodynamic description applies is independent of the coupling strength, given by k(max)λ(s)≃0.43, where λ(s) is the ionic screening length. Our results show that the hydrodynamic description can be used for interpreting x-ray scattering data from fourth generation light sources and high power lasers. In addition, our investigation sheds new light on how the domain of validity of the hydrodynamic description depends on both the microscopic properties and the thermodynamic state of fluids in general.
High Energy Density Physics 7 (2011) 377-382
Density fluctuations in the Yukawa one-component plasma: An accurate model for the dynamical structure factor
Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics 84 (2011)
Using numerical simulations, we investigate the equilibrium dynamics of a single-component fluid with Yukawa interaction potential. We show that, for a wide range of densities and temperatures, the dynamics of the system are in striking agreement with a simple model of generalized hydrodynamics. Since the Yukawa potential can describe the ion-ion interactions in a plasma, our results have significant applicability for both analyzing and interpreting the results of x-ray scattering data from high-power lasers and fourth-generation light sources. © 2011 American Physical Society.
Observation of K-Shell Soft X Ray Emission of Nitrogen Irradiated by XUV-Free Electron Laser FLASH at Intensities Greater than 1016 W/cm2
Contributions to Plasma Physics 51 (2011) 284-287
In the past few years, the development of light sources of the 4th generation, namely XUV/X-ray Free Electron Lasers provides to the scientific community outstanding tools to investigate matter under extreme conditions never obtained in laboratories so far. As theory is at its infancy, the analysis of matter via the self-emission of the target is of central importance. The characterization of such dense matter is possible if photons can escape the medium. As the absorption of K-shell X-ray transitions is minimal, it plays a key role in this study. We report here the first successful observation of K-shell emission of Nitrogen at 430 eV using an XUV-Free Electron Laser to irradiate solid Boron Nitride targets under exceptional conditions: photon energy of 92 eV, pulse duration of ∼20 fs, micro focusing leading to intensities larger than 1016 W/cm2. Using a Bragg crystal of THM coupled to a CCD, we resolved K-shell line emission from different charge states. We demonstrate that the spectroscopic data allow characterization of electron heating processes when X-ray radiation is interacting with solid matter. As energy transport is non-trivial because the light source is monochromatic, these results have an important impact on the theory. © 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.
IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science 39 (2011) 2616-2617
The proton probing technique is used to image quasi-static electromagnetic fields present in the wake of a high-intensity short-pulse laser propagating through an underdense plasma. Bubblelike field structures form along the channel filaments and expand in time. © 2006 IEEE.
Saturated ablation in metal hydrides and acceleration of protons and deuterons to keV energies with a soft-x-ray laser.
Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys 83 (2011) 016403-
Studies of materials under extreme conditions have relevance to a broad area of research, including planetary physics, fusion research, materials science, and structural biology with x-ray lasers. We study such extreme conditions and experimentally probe the interaction between ultrashort soft x-ray pulses and solid targets (metals and their deuterides) at the FLASH free-electron laser where power densities exceeding 10(17) W/cm(2) were reached. Time-of-flight ion spectrometry and crater analysis were used to characterize the interaction. The results show the onset of saturation in the ablation process at power densities above 10(16) W/cm(2). This effect can be linked to a transiently induced x-ray transparency in the solid by the femtosecond x-ray pulse at high power densities. The measured kinetic energies of protons and deuterons ejected from the surface reach several keV and concur with predictions from plasma-expansion models. Simulations of the interactions were performed with a nonlocal thermodynamic equilibrium code with radiation transfer. These calculations return critical depths similar to the observed crater depths and capture the transient surface transparency at higher power densities.
Production of picosecond, kilojoule, and petawatt laser pulses via Raman amplification of nanosecond pulses
Physical Review Letters 107 (2011)
Raman amplification in plasma has been promoted as a means of compressing picosecond optical laser pulses to femtosecond duration to explore the intensity frontier. Here we show for the first time that it can be used, with equal success, to compress laser pulses from nanosecond to picosecond duration. Simulations show up to 60% energy transfer from pump pulse to probe pulse, implying that multikilojoule ultraviolet petawatt laser pulses can be produced using this scheme. This has important consequences for the demonstration of fast-ignition inertial confinement fusion. © 2011 American Physical Society.
High Energy Density Physics 7 (2011) 111-116
We present simulations of the charge states produced by the interaction of intense X-ray laser radiation with a neon gas. We model the results of a recent experiment (Young et al., Nature 466, 56 (2010)), where mJ pulses of X-rays, with photon energies ranging from 800 to 2000 eV and pulse lengths ranging from 70 to 340 fs were incident on neon atoms at intensities of up to 10 18 W cm -2. Simulations using an adapted version of the SCFLY collisional-radiative code, which included the effect of electron collisions and a simple self-consistent temperature model, result in charge state distributions that are in good agreement with the experimental data. We calculate the electron temperature of the system during the evolution of the plasma, and comment upon the role that collisions may play in determining the charge state distributions as a function of the neon ion number density. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.