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Journal of the Optical Society of America B

Journal of the Optical Society of America B


  • Vol. 20, Iss. 1 — Jan. 1, 2003
  • pp: 224–228

Kilohertz sources of hard x rays and fast ions with femtosecond laser plasmas

A. Thoss, M. Richardson, G. Korn, M. Faubel, H. Stiel, U. Vogt, and T. Elsaesser  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA B, Vol. 20, Issue 1, pp. 224-228 (2003)

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We demonstrate a new, stable, kilohertz femtosecond laser plasma source of hard-x-ray continuum and Kα emission that uses a microscopic liquid jet target that is continuous and debris free. Plasmas produced by ultrashort (50-fs) intense laser pulses from a fine (10–30-μm diameter) liquid Ga jet emit bright 9.3- and 10.3-keV Kα and Kβ lines superimposed on a multikilovolt bremmstrahlung continuum. Kilohertz femtosecond x-ray sources will find many applications in time-resolved x-ray diffraction and microscopy studies. As high-intensity lasers become more compact and operate at increasingly high repetition-rates, they require a target configuration that is both repeatable from shot to shot and debris free. Our target provides a pristine, unperturbed filament surface at rates >100 kHz. A number of liquid metal targets are considered. We show the hard-x-ray spectrum described above. The source was generated by a 50-fs-duration, 1-kHz, 2-W, high-intensity Ti:sapphire laser. Using the same technology, we also generate forward-going sub-mega-electron-volt (sub-MeV) protons from a 10-μm liquid water target at 1-kHz repetition rates. Kilohertz sources of high-energy ions will find many applications in time-resolved particle interaction studies and will lead to efficient generation of short-lived isotopes for use in nuclear medicine and other applications. The protons were detected with CR-39 track detectors in both the forward and the backward directions up to energies of ∼500 keV. As the intensity of compact high-repetition-rate lasers sources increases, we can expect improvements in the energy, conversion efficiency, and directionality to occur. The effect of these developments is discussed. As compact, high-repetition-rate femtosecond laser technology reaches focused intensities of 1019 W/cm2, many new applications of high-repetition-rate hard-x-ray and MeV ion sources will become practical.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(320.5550) Ultrafast optics : Pulses
(320.7110) Ultrafast optics : Ultrafast nonlinear optics
(340.7480) X-ray optics : X-rays, soft x-rays, extreme ultraviolet (EUV)

A. Thoss, M. Richardson, G. Korn, M. Faubel, H. Stiel, U. Vogt, and T. Elsaesser, "Kilohertz sources of hard x rays and fast ions with femtosecond laser plasmas," J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 20, 224-228 (2003)

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