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Phys Rev Lett. 2011 May 6;106(18):185003. Epub 2011 May 6.

Measurements of electron transport in foils irradiated with a picosecond time scale laser pulse.

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Directorate Science and Technology, AWE Aldermaston, Reading, United Kingdom.


The heating of solid foils by a picosecond time scale laser pulse has been studied by using x-ray emission spectroscopy. The target material was plastic foil with a buried layer of a spectroscopic tracer material. The laser pulse length was either 0.5 or 2 ps, which resulted in a laser irradiance that varied over the range 10(16)-10(19) W/cm(2). Time-resolved measurements of the buried layer emission spectra using an ultrafast x-ray streak camera were used to infer the density and temperature conditions as a function of laser parameters and depth of the buried layer. Comparison of the data to different models of electron transport showed that they are consistent with a model of electron transport that predicts the bulk of the target heating is due to return currents.

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