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European XFEL Science Seminar

Ultra-high energy density conditions produced by intense laser irradiation of mass-limited targets

by Paul Neumayer (GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH)

E1.173 (Schenefeld, Main Building (XHQ))


Schenefeld, Main Building (XHQ)

In relativistic laser-matter interaction, a large fraction of the laser energy is converted to a population of energetic (MeV) electrons. When using “mass-limited” targets (of dimensions smaller than the hot electron range) the hot electrons are confined within the target by electrostatic sheath fields, leading to the generation of matter at high energy density conditions. In this talk I will present a selection of experiments subjecting micron-sized targets to energetic laser pulses at laser-intensities up to 10^20W/cm^2. Broadband K-shell emission x-ray spectroscopy is used to assess target heating and ionization. Negligible hydrodynamic expansion during the rapid heating process yields pressures in the Gbar regime. X-ray free electron lasers are an ideal tool to probe the rapid temporal evolution of these micron-sized samples at ultra-high energy density.