We have performed short-pulse laser-irradiated gas puff target experiments to generate a neonlike argon soft-x-ray laser by using a small laser system. A high-pressure solenoid valve forms a gas column through a narrow slit that is irradiated by two laser pulses containing 10 J of energy. Strong lasing is observed on two transitions, the 3p <sup>1</sup>S<sub>0</sub>→3s <sup>1</sup>P<sub>1</sub> line at 46.9 nm and the 3d <sup>1</sup>P<sub>1</sub>→3p <sup>1</sup>P<sub>1</sub> line at 45.1 nm. We present results from a systematic study in which the gas puff and laser conditions were varied to optimize the x-ray-laser output from a 0.9-cm-long gas column.
© 2003 Optical Society of America
(140.7240) Lasers and laser optics : UV, EUV, and X-ray lasers
(260.7200) Physical optics : Ultraviolet, extreme
(340.7480) X-ray optics : X-rays, soft x-rays, extreme ultraviolet (EUV)
(350.5400) Other areas of optics : Plasmas
James Dunn, Raymond F. Smith, Joseph Nilsen, Henryk Fiedorowicz, Andrzej Bartnik, and Vyacheslav N. Shlyaptsev, "Picosecond-laser-driven gas puff neonlike argon x-ray laser," J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 20, 203-207 (2003)