Publications associated with Oxford Centre for High Energy Density Science (OxCHEDS)

Clocking femtosecond collisional dynamics via resonant X-ray spectroscopy

Physical Review Letters American Physical Society 120 (2018) 055002

QY van den Berg, EV Fernandez-Tello, T Burian, J Chalupský, H-K Chung, O Ciricosta, GL Dakovski, V Hájková, P Hollebon, L Juha, J Krzywinski, RW Lee, MP Minitti, TR Preston, AG de la Varga, V Vozda, U Zastrau, J Wark, P Velarde, SM Vinko

Electron-ion collisional dynamics is of fundamental importance in determining plasma transport properties, non-equilibrium plasma evolution and electron damage in diffraction imaging applications using bright x-ray free-electron lasers (FELs). Here we describe the first experimental measurements of ultra-fast electron impact collisional ionization dynamics using resonant core-hole spectroscopy in a solid-density magnesium plasma, created and diagnosed with the Linac Coherent Light Source x-ray FEL. By resonantly pumping the 1s ! 2p transition in highly-charged ions within an optically-thin plasma we have measured how off-resonance charge states are populated via collisional processes on femtosecond times scales. We present a collisional cross section model that matches our results and demonstrates how the cross sections are enhanced by dense-plasma effects including continuum lowering. Non-LTE (local thermodynamic equilibrium) collisional radiative simulations show excellent agreement with the experimental results, and provide new insight on collisional ionization and three-body-recombination processes in the dense plasma regime.

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