Ion characteristics of laser-produced plasma using a pair of collinear femtosecond laser pulses

Zhang, Z.; Van Rompay, P. A.; Pronko, P. P.
July 2003
Applied Physics Letters;7/21/2003, Vol. 83 Issue 3, p431
Academic Journal
Femtosecond laser-pulse absorption is studied in silicon ablation plasmas by means of a pair of identical 10[SUP16]W/cm[SUP2] collinear pulses separated on a picosecond time scale. The second laser-pulse modifies ionic characteristics of the preformed plasma, such as ion yield, ion energy, and average charge state. Resonance absorption is demonstrated to be the dominant mechanism by comparing results of s and p polarization. It is shown that maximum effects occur when a well defined critical density surface of the initial plasma forms together with an optimum density gradient scale length of kL = 1.5. The optimal enhancement of ion yield, which occurs at 5 ps delay, is a factor of 2 greater than that produced by a single pulse with twice the energy of each individual double pulse. Applications are identified in regard to cluster beam formation and plasma isotope enrichment in ultrafast ablation plumes.


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