Measuring fast electron distribution functions at intensities up to 1021 W cm-2

Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment (2011)

N Booth, RJ Clarke, D Doria, LA Gizzi, G Gregori, P Hakel, P Koester, L Labate, T Levato, B Li, M Makita, RC Mancini, J Pasley, PP Rajeev, D Riley, APL Robinson, E Wagenaars, JN Waugh, NC Woolsey

Time-resolved plasma temperature measurements in a laser-triggered hydrogen-filled capillary discharge waveguide

Plasma Sources Science and Technology 20 (2011)

CJ Woolley, KO O'Keeffe, H Chung, SM Hooker

Temporally resolved, spatially integrated measurements of the temperature of the plasma channel formed by a hydrogen-filled discharge capillary waveguide are presented. Plasma temperatures of 4-7 eV are measured for peak discharge currents between 80 and 150 A. It is demonstrated that laser-triggering the capillary discharge enables capillary discharges with a peak current as low as 23 A to be driven, reducing the plasma temperature to approximately 3 eV. This plasma temperature meets the requirements of a recently proposed soft x-ray recombination laser. © 2011 IOP Publishing Ltd.

In situ x-ray diffraction measurements of the c/a ratio in the high-pressure epsilon phase of shock-compressed polycrystalline iron

PRB American Physical Society 83 (2011) 144114-

JA Hawreliak, B El-Dasher, H Lorenzana, G Kimminau, A Higginbotham, B Nagler, SM Vinko, WJ Murphy, T Whitcher, JS Wark, S Rothman, N Park

X-ray scattering as a probe for warm dense mixtures and high-pressure miscibility

EPL 94 (2011)

K Wünsch, J Vorberger, G Gregori, DO Gericke

We develop a new theoretical approach that demonstrates the abilities of elastic X-ray scattering to yield thermodynamic, structural, and mixing properties of dense matter with multiple ion species. The novel decomposition of the electron structure factor in multi-component systems provides the basis to study dense mixtures as found in giant gas planets or during inertial confinement fusion. We show that the scattering signal differs significantly between single species, microscopic mixtures, and phase-separated fluids. Thus, these different phases can be distinguished experimentally via elastic X-ray scattering. © 2011 Europhysics Letters Association.

In-situ determination of dispersion and resolving power in simultaneous multiple-angle XUV spectroscopy


U Zastrau, V Hilbert, C Brown, T Doeppner, S Dziarzhytski, E Foerster, SH Glenzer, S Goede, G Gregori, M Harmand, D Hochhaus, T Laarmann, HJ Lee, K-H Meiwes-Broer, P Neumayer, A Przystawik, P Radcliffe, M Schulz, S Skruszewicz, F Tavella, J Tiggesbaeumker, S Toleikis, T White

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)

JP Mithen, J Daligault, BJB Crowley, G Gregori

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.

Simulations of neon irradiated by intense X-ray laser radiation

High Energy Density Physics 7 (2011) 111-116

O Ciricosta, H Chung, R Lee, JS Wark

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.

Reply to "Comment on 'Free-free opacity in warm-dense aluminum'"

High Energy Density Physics 7 (2011) 40-42

SM Vinko, G Gregori, JS Wark

We reply to the comment by Iglesias [HEDP, XXX] regarding our implementation of a solid-state pseudopotential in a model for the calculation of the free--free opacity in warm-dense aluminum [HEDP 5(2009), 124-131]. Some further details are given describing the method used to determine the adjustable parameter in the pseudopotential and several important limitations are discussed. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

High resolution X-ray spectroscopy in fast electron transport studies

Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering 8080 (2011)

P Koester, NA Booth, CA Cecchetti, H Chen, RG Evans, G Gregori, LL Labate, T Levato, B Li, M Makita, JP Mithen, CD Murphy, MM Notley, RP Pattathil, DR Riley, NC Woolsey, LA Gizzia

A detailed knowledge of the physical phenomena underlying the generation and the transport of fast electrons generated in high-intensity laser-matter interactions is of fundamental importance for the fast ignition scheme for inertial confinement fusion. Here we report on an experiment carried out with the VULCAN Petawatt beam and aimed at investigating the role of collisional return currents in the dynamics of the fast electron beam. To that scope, in the experiment counter-propagating electron beams were generated by double-sided irradiation of layered target foils containing a Ti layer. The experimental results were obtained for different time delays between the two laser beams as well as for single-sided irradiation of the target foils. The main diagnostics consisted of two bent mica crystal spectrometers placed at either side of the target foil. High-resolution X-ray spectra of the Ti emission lines in the range from the Lyα to the Kα line were recorded. In addition, 2D X-ray images with spectral resolution were obtained by means of a novel diagnostic technique, the energy-encoded pin-hole camera, based on the use of a pin-hole array equipped with a CCD detector working in single-photon regime. The spectroscopic measurements suggest a higher target temperature for well-aligned laser beams and a precise timing between the two beams. The experimental results are presented and compared to simulation results. © 2011 SPIE.

Investigation of fast electron energy coupling in a counter-propagating scheme

38th EPS Conference on Plasma Physics 2011, EPS 2011 - Europhysics Conference Abstracts 35 2 (2011) 1484-1487

P Koester, NA Booth, CA Cecchetti, H Chen, RG Evans, G Gregori, LL Labate, T Levato, B Li, M Makita, JP Mithen, CD Murphy, MM Notley, RP Pattathil, DR Riley, NC Woolsey, LA Gizzi

A detailed knowledge of the physical phenomena underlying the transport of fast electrons generated in high-intensity laser-matter interactions is of fundamental importance for the fast ignition scheme for inertial confinement fusion. The fast electron currents largely exceed the Alfven limit, therefore a balancing return current is required to support the propagation of the fast electron beam in the target medium. An experimental study aimed at investigating the role of the return current on the dynamics of the fast electron beam was carried out with the Vulcan Petawatt beam. Two counter-propagating electron beams were generated by double-sided irradiation of a layered target containing a 5 micron thick Ti layer. Information on the energy coupling of the fast electron beam to the Ti layer was retrieved through X-ray measurements. In particular, high-resolution X-ray spectroscopy of the Ti emission lines was performed in the spectral range from 4.4 to 5.1 keV including the Lyα, the Heα and the Kα line. Spectra were acquired for double-sided irradiation with different timings between the two laser beams as well as for single-sided irradiation. The recorded spectra indicate a higher target temperature for a precise timing between the two beams in agreement with simulation results.

Decay of Cystalline Order and Equilibration during the Solid-to-Plasma Transition Induced by 20-fs Microfocused 92-eV Free-Electron-Laser Pulses


E Galtier, FB Rosmej, T Dzelzainis, D Riley, FY Khattak, P Heimann, RW Lee, AJ Nelson, SM Vinko, T Whitcher, JS Wark, T Tschentscher, S Toleikis, RR Faeustlin, R Sobierajski, M Jurek, L Juha, J Chalupsky, V Hajkova, M Kozlova, J Krzywinski, B Nagler

Simulation of free-electron lasers seeded with broadband radiation

Physical Review Special Topics - Accelerators and Beams 14 (2011)

SI Bajlekov, WM Fawley, CB Schroeder, R Bartolini, SM Hooker

The longitudinal coherence of free-electron laser (FEL) radiation can be enhanced by seeding the FEL with high harmonics of an optical laser pulse. The radiation produced by high-harmonic generation (HHG), however, has a fast-varying temporal profile that can violate the slowly varying envelope approximation and limited frequency window that is employed in conventional free-electron laser simulation codes. Here we investigate the implications of violating this approximation on the accuracy of simulations. On the basis of both analytical considerations and 1D numerical studies, it is concluded that, for most realistic scenarios, conventional FEL codes are capable of accurately simulating the FEL process even when the seed radiation violates the slowly varying envelope approximation. We additionally discuss the significance of filtering the harmonic content of broadband HHG seeds. © 2011 American Physical Society.

Towards laboratory produced relativistic electron-positron pair plasmas

High Energy Density Physics 7 (2011) 225-229

H Chen, DD Meyerhofer, SC Wilks, RC Cauble, FJ Dollar, K Falk, G Gregori, AU Hazi, EI Moses, CD Murphy, JF Myatt, J Park, JF Seely, RL Shepherd, A Spitkovsky, C Stoeckl, CI Szabó, R Tommasini, C Zulick, P Beiersdörfer

We review recent experimental results on the path to producing electron-positron pair plasmas using lasers. Relativistic pair-plasmas and jets are believed to exist in many astrophysical objects and are often invoked to explain energetic phenomena related to Gamma Ray Bursts and Black Holes. On earth, positrons from radioactive isotopes or accelerators are used extensively at low energies (sub-MeV) in areas related to surface science positron emission tomography and basic antimatter science. Experimental platforms capable of producing the high-temperature pair-plasma and high-flux jets required to simulate astrophysical positron conditions have so far been absent. In the past few years, we performed extensive experiments generating positrons with intense lasers where we found that relativistic electron and positron jets are produced by irradiating a solid gold target with an intense picosecond laser pulse. The positron temperatures in directions parallel and transverse to the beam both exceeded 0.5 MeV, and the density of electrons and positrons in these jets are of order 1016 cm-3 and 1013 cm-3, respectively. With the increasing performance of high-energy ultra-short laser pulses, we expect that a high-density, up to 1018 cm-3, relativistic pair-plasma is achievable, a novel regime of laboratory-produced hot dense matter. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

Precision X-ray spectroscopy of intense laser-plasma interactions

High Energy Density Physics 7 (2011) 105-109

NC Woolsey, RJ Clarke, D Doria, LA Gizzi, G Gregori, P Hakel, SB Hansen, P Koester, LL Labate, T Levato, B Li, M Makita, RC Mancini, JR Pasley, PP Rajeev, APL Robinson, E Wagenaars, JN Waugh, NA Booth

Polarisation sensitive emission spectroscopy measurements are reported for a petawatt laser-solid target interaction at intensities up to 5 × 1020 W cm-2. These measurements were single-shot and used pairs of highly-orientated graphite spectrometers to resolve the sulphur Ly-α doublet. The sulphur Ly-α1 component shows a large positive polarisation indicative of a low energy electron beam in the plasma, the Ly-α2 component acts as a cross-spectrometer calibration. The measurements show a significant anisotropic or beam-like component to a cold return current. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

High Harmonic Optical Generator (Polarization Beating 1/2)

(2011) UK Patent Application GB1117355.6

LZ Liu, K O'Keeffe, SM Hooker

Probing near-solid density plasmas using soft x-ray scattering

Journal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics 43 (2010)

S Toleikis, TH Bornath, TD Döppner, S Düsterer, RR Fäustlin, E Förster, C Fortmann, SH Glenzer, S Göde, G Gregori, R Irsig, T Laarmann, H Lee, B Li, KH Meiwes-Broer, JP Mithen, B Nagler, A Przystawik, P Radcliffe, H Redlin, RA Redmer, H Reinholz, G Röpke, F Tavella, RH Thiele, J Tiggesbäumker, I Uschmann, SM Vinko, TJ Whitcher, U Zastrau, B Ziaja, TH Tschentscher

X-ray scattering using highly brilliant x-ray free-electron laser (FEL) radiation provides new access to probe free-electron density, temperature and ionization in near-solid density plasmas. First experiments at the soft x-ray FEL FLASH at DESY, Hamburg, show the capabilities of this technique. The ultrashort FEL pulses in particular can probe equilibration phenomena occurring after excitation of the plasma using ultrashort optical laser pumping. We have investigated liquid hydrogen and find that the interaction of very intense soft x-ray FEL radiation alone heats the sample volume. As the plasma establishes, photons from the same pulse undergo scattering, thus probing the transient, warm dense matter state. We find a free-electron density of (2.6 ± 0.2) × 1020 cm-3 and an electron temperature of 14 ± 3.5 eV. In pump-probe experiments, using intense optical laser pulses to generate more extreme states of matter, this interaction of the probe pulse has to be considered in the interpretation of scattering data. In this paper, we present details of the experimental setup at FLASH and the diagnostic methods used to quantitatively analyse the data. © 2010 IOP Publishing Ltd.

Generation and control of ultrafast pulse trains for quasi-phase-matching high-harmonic generation

Journal of the Optical Society of America B: Optical Physics 27 (2010) 763-772

TH Robinson, KO O'Keeffe, M Zepf, B Dromey, SM Hooker

Two techniques are demonstrated to produce ultrashort pulse trains capable of quasi-phase-matching highharmonic generation. The first technique makes use of an array of birefringent crystals and is shown to generate high-contrast pulse trains with constant pulse spacing. The second technique employs a grating-pair stretcher, a multiple-order wave plate, and a linear polarizer. Trains of up to 100 pulses are demonstrated with this technique, with almost constant inter-pulse separation. It is shown that arbitrary pulse separation can be achieved by introducing the appropriate dispersion. This principle is demonstrated by using an acousto-optic programmable dispersive filter to introduce third- and fourth-order dispersions leading to a linear and quadratic variation of the separation of pulses through the train. Chirped-pulse trains of this type may be used to quasi-phase-match high-harmonic generation in situations where the coherence length varies through the medium. © 2010 Optical Society of America.

Inferring the electron temperature and density of shocked liquid deuterium using inelastic X-ray scattering

Journal of Physics: Conference Series 244 (2010)

SP Regan, PB Radha, TR Boehly, T Doeppner, K Falk, SH Glenzer, VN Goncharov, G Gregori, OL Landen, RL McCrory, DD Meyerhofer, PB Neumayer, TC Sangster, VA Smalyuk

An experiment designed to launch laser-ablation-driven shock waves (10 to 70 Mbar) in a planar liquid-deuterium target on the OMEGA Laser System and to diagnose the shocked conditions using inelastic x-ray scattering is described. The electron temperature (Te) is inferred from the Doppler-broadened Compton-downshifted peak of the noncollective (αs = 1kλD > 1) x-ray scattering for Te > T Fermi. The electron density (ne) is inferred from the downshifted plasmon peak of the collective (αscatter > 1) x-ray scattering. A cylindrical layer of liquid deuterium is formed in a cryogenic cell with 8-μm-thick polyimide windows. The polyimide ablator is irradiated with peak intensities in the range of 1013 to 10 15 W/cm2 and shock waves are launched. Predictions from a 1-D hydrodynamics code show the shocked deuterium has a thickness of ∼0.1 mm with spatially uniform conditions. For the drive intensities under consideration, electron density up to ∼5 × 1023 cm -3 and electron temperature in the range of 10 to 25 eV are predicted. A laser-irradiated saran foil produces Cl Ly αemission. The spectrally resolved x-ray scattering is recorded at 90° for the noncollective scattering and at 40° for the collective scattering with a highly oriented pyrolytic graphite (HOPG) crystal spectrometer and an x-ray framing camera. © 2010 IOP Publishing Ltd.

Soft X-ray scattering using FEL radiation for probing near-solid density plasmas at few electron volt temperatures

High Energy Density Physics 6 (2010) 15-20

S Toleikis, RR Fäustlin, L Cao, TD Döppner, S Düsterer, E Förster, C Fortmann, SH Glenzer, S Göde, G Gregori, R Irsig, T Laarmann, H Lee, B Li, JP Mithen, KH Meiwes-Broer, A Przystawik, P Radcliffe, RA Redmer, F Tavella, RH Thiele, J Tiggesbäumker, NX Truong, I Uschmann, U Zastrau, TH Tschentscher

We report on soft X-ray scattering experiments on cryogenic hydrogen and simple metal samples. As a source of intense, ultrashort soft X-ray pulses we have used free-electron laser radiation at 92 eV photon energy from FLASH at DESY, Hamburg. X-ray pulses with energies up to 150 μJ and durations 15-50 fs provide interaction with the sample leading simultaneously to plasma formation and scattering. Experiments exploiting both of these interactions have been carried out, using the same experimental setup. Firstly, recording of soft X-ray inelastic scattering from near-solid density hydrogen plasmas at few electron volt temperatures confirms the feasibility of this diagnostics technique. Secondly, the soft X-ray excitation of few electron volt solid-density plasmas in bulk metal samples could be studied by recording soft X-ray line and continuum emission integrated over emission times from fs to ns. © 2009 Elsevier B.V.

Metal deformation and phase transitions at extremely high strain rates

MRS BULLETIN 35 (2010) 999-1006

RE Rudd, TC Germann, BA Remington, JS Wark