Brilliance improvement of laser-produced soft x-ray plasma by a barrel shock

Tobias Mey, Martin Rein, Peter Großmann, Klaus Mann
2012 New Journal of Physics  
A method is presented for improving the brilliance of laser-produced soft x-ray sources that are based on pulsed gas jets as the targets. The conversion efficiency of laser energy into soft x-ray radiation is enhanced by locally increasing the particle density of the target species. This is achieved by applying a small background pressure to the supersonic flow emanating from a nozzle. In this manner, a supersonic jet with a so-called barrel shock system is formed. On passing the shocks,
more » ... es become locally concentrated, forming highdensity regions that are used as the targets. An estimate of possible increases in particle densities is provided. The jet flow is then analyzed experimentally by Schlieren imaging, thus visualizing the spatial shock structure. Additionally, a quantitative measurement of the gas density is made using a Hartmann-Shack wavefront sensor. The beneficial effect of the applied background gas on plasma generation is clearly more prominent than its absorbing effect on the photons originating from the plasma. This is shown for a nitrogen target with helium as the background gas. A plasma, generated behind the barrel shock in the nitrogen jet, emits monochromatic photons at a wavelength of 2.88 nm. The peak brilliance of the source is increased by an order of magnitude, resulting in 3.15 × 10 16 photons (mm 2 mrad 2 s) −1 .
doi:10.1088/1367-2630/14/7/073045 fatcat:zngtefn7svaezlf7gtc6n2dhgi