Laser-generated plasmas at INFN-LNS

Torrisi, L.; Gammino, S.; Celona, L.; Krasa, J.; Laska, L.; Wolowski, J.
June 2006
Plasma Physics Reports;Jun2006, Vol. 32 Issue 6, p514
Academic Journal
Hot plasmas can be generated by fast and intense laser pulses ablating solids placed in vacuum. A Nd:Yag laser operating at the fundamental and second harmonics with 9-ns pulses (maximum energy of 900 mJ) focused on metallic surfaces produces high ablation yields of the order of �g/pulse and dense plasma that expands adiabatically at supersonic velocity along the normal to the target surface. The plasma emits neutral and charged particles. Charge states up to 10+ have been measured in heavy elements ablated with intensities of the order of 1010 W/cm2. The ion temperature of the plasma is evaluated from the ion energy distributions measured with an ion energy analyzer. The electron temperature is measured through Faraday cups placed at the end of long drift tubes by using time-of-flight technique. The neutral temperature is measured with a special mass quadrupole spectrometer placed along the normal to the target surface. The plasma temperature increases with the laser pulse intensity. The ion temperature reaches values of the order of 400 eV, the electron temperature is of the order of 1 keV for hot electrons and 0.1 eV for thermal electrons, and the neutral temperature is of the order of 200 eV. The experimental apparatus, the diagnostic techniques, and the procedures for the plasma temperature characterization will be presented and discussed in detail.


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