Over the past decade, x-ray lasers in the wavelength range 14–47 nm have been used for interferometry of plasmas. As in optical interferometry of plasmas, the experimental analysis assumed that the index of refraction is due only to free electrons. This makes the index of refraction less than 1. Recent experiments in Al plasmas have shown fringe lines bending the wrong way as though the electron density were negative. We show how the bound electrons can dominate the index of refraction in many plasmas and make the index greater than 1 or enhance the index such that one would greatly overestimate the density of the plasma using interferometry.
© 2004 Optical Society of America
(120.3180) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Interferometry
(120.5710) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Refraction
(140.7240) Lasers and laser optics : UV, EUV, and X-ray lasers
(340.7450) X-ray optics : X-ray interferometry
Joseph Nilsen and James H. Scofield, "Plasmas with an index of refraction greater than 1," Opt. Lett. 29, 2677-2679 (2004)