Characterization of a Clustering Gas Jet for High Energy Density Plasma Production
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When expanding through a nozzle into a vacuum in a high-pressure-backed supersonic jet, certain gases can condense into van der Waals-bound atomic or molecular clusters. These clusters absorb intense, pulsed laser light more efficiently than uniform gas jets of the same average density, making them useful sources of high energy density plasmas. An argon gas jet designed to produce such clusters was studied using Rayleigh scattering and interferometry.