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8 June 2011 Detection of microwave emission from solid targets ablated with an ultrashort pulsed laser
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In addition to visible and near-IR emission, recent investigations have shown that electromagnetic pulses (EMP) in the microwave and RF regions of the spectrum are generated during femtosecond laser-matter interactions if the laser source is sufficiently intense to ablate and ionize an illuminated solid target material. Although the mechanisms for the laserinduced EMP pulse are not fully characterized, it is reported that this phenomenon arises from two mechanisms associated with terawatt to petawatt level laser interactions with matter: (1) ionization via propagation in air, and (2) plasma generation associated with the laser-excited solid material. Over the past year, our group has examined the microwave emission profiles from a variety of femtosecond laser ablated materials, including metals, semiconductors, and dielectrics. We have directed our measurements towards the characterization of microwave emission from ablated surfaces in air using laser peak powers in excess of 1012 Watts (energy/pulse ~50 mJ, pulse width ~30 fs, laser diameter at target ~200 microns). We have characterized the temporal profile of the microwave emission and determined the emission from all samples is omni-directional. We have also observed a difference in the minimum fluence required to generate emission from conducting and insulating materials although the peak amplitudes from these materials were quite similar at the upper laser energy levels of our system (~50 mJ).
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Joseph A. Miragliotta, Benjamin Brawley, Caroline Sailor, James B. Spicer, and Jane W. M. Spicer "Detection of microwave emission from solid targets ablated with an ultrashort pulsed laser", Proc. SPIE 8037, Laser Radar Technology and Applications XVI, 80370N (8 June 2011);


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