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19 December 2003 Improved energy coupling into the gain region of the Ni-like Pd transient collisional x-ray laser
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We present within this paper a series of experiments, which yield new observations to further our understanding of the transient collisional x-ray laser medium. We use the recently developed technique of picosecond x-ray laser interferometry to probe the plasma conditions in which the x-ray laser is generated and propagates. This yields two dimensional electron density maps of the plasma taken at different times relative to the peak of the 600ps plasma-forming beam. In another experimental campaign, the output of the x-ray laser plasma column is imaged with a spherical multilayer mirror onto a CCD camera to give a two-dimensional intensity map of the x-ray laser output. Near-field imaging gives insights into refraction, output intensity and spatial mode structure. Combining these images with the density maps gives an indication of the electron density at which the x-ray laser is being emitted at (yielding insights into the effect of density gradients on beam propagation). Experimental observations coupled with simulations predict that most effective coupling of laser pump energy occurs when the duration of the main heating pulse is comparable to the gain lifetime (~10ps for Ni-like schemes). This can increase the output intensity by more than an order of magnitude relative to the case were the same pumping energy is delivered within a shorter heating pulse duration (< 3ps). We have also conducted an experiment in which the output of the x-ray laser was imaged onto the entrance slit of a high temporal resolution streak camera. This effectively takes a one-dimensional slice of the x-ray laser spatial profile and sweeps it in time. Under some conditions we observe rapid movement of the x-ray laser (~ 3um/ps) towards the target surface.
© (2003) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Raymond F. Smith, James Dunn, Jorge Filevich, Stephen Moon, Joeseph Nilsen, Roisin Keenan, Vyacheslev V. Shlyaptsev, Jorge J. G. Rocca, James R. Hunter, Ronnie Shepherd, Rex Booth, and Mario C. Marconi "Improved energy coupling into the gain region of the Ni-like Pd transient collisional x-ray laser", Proc. SPIE 5197, Soft X-Ray Lasers and Applications V, (19 December 2003);


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