- Conference date: 27-31 May 2002
- Location: Aspen, Colorado (USA)
We report new results using the LLNL COMET laser to evaluate the effectiveness of different target architectures to improve the output and characteristics of the transient x‐ray laser scheme. Surprising observations were found when the laser line focus irradiating a single slab Cr or Fe target was divided into two or three distinct plasma column sections with millimeter scale gaps between each plasma. The Ne‐like 3p 1S0 → 3s 1P1 28.5 nm and 25.5 nm x‐ray laser lines, for Cr and Fe, respectively, were improved in beam divergence, by 2 – 3 times, and peak intensity, by up to one order of magnitude, when compared with a single plasma column of the same length or longer. This was contrary to expectations since these large‐scale inhomogeneities introduced along the plasma, as well as attenuation from the cold plasma at the end of each section, would be detrimental to the x‐ray propagation and amplification. Instead an injector‐amplifier (IA) type process appears to be at work where the plasma gaps may be beneficially modifying the ray propagation and coupling through the high Ne‐like ion gain regions. We present results showing the output of the amplifier stage with increasing length for the IA targets together with beam deflection and divergence measurements.
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