Gartside, L. M. R., Tallents, G. J., Rossall, A. K., Wagenaars, E., Whittaker, D. S., Kozlova, M., Nejdl, J., Sawicka, M., Polan, J., Kalal, M. and Rus, B. (2011) Extreme ultraviolet interferometry of laser plasma material between the critical and ablation surfaces. High Energy Density Physics, 7 (2). pp. 91-97. ISSN 1574-1818

Interferometric probing using an extreme ultraviolet (EUV) laser has measured both transmission and phase information through laser-irradiated plastic (parylene-N C8H8) targets (thickness 350 nm). Unusually, the probe beam is incident longitudinally in approximately the same direction as the incident optical laser. Agreement of the experimental interferometry results has been obtained with two-dimensional radiation hydrodynamic code (h2d) simulations of EUV (21.2 nm) probe transmissions and phase shifts. We show that the transmission of the EUV probe beam provides a measure of the rate of target ablation, as ablated plasma becomes close to transparent when the photon energy is less than the ionization energy of the predominate ion species. Here C3+ ions with ionization energy 64.5 eV are transparent, while lower carbon ionization stages, present in the unablated target and close to the ablation surface, absorb the 58.5 eV photons. Similarly, we show that refractive indices η below the solid parylene-N (ηsolid = 0.946) and expected plasma values are produced in the warm dense plasma created by laser irradiation due to bound–free absorption in C+.

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