The interaction of solid-density nano-scale clusters with high-intensity XUV laser pulses

Bruce, Sandra Allison
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Studies of the interaction between high intensity, high frequency pulsed lasers and nano-scale material have a broad range of potential applications, from ultrafast biomolecular imaging to fundamental questions of the time scales associated with molecular electronic processes. ̀̀Table-top'' XUV lasers utilizing HHG to produce a broad range of photon energies are a promising new source of this ultrafast high frequency radiation. Here, we present data generated by the irradiation of nano-scale cluster targets, composed of both solids and van der Waals-bound gases, by high-intensity XUV pulses generated using the new HHG beamline of the UT THOR laser system. On-target intensities are 1 x 10¹³ W/cm², and photon energies range from 26.4 eV to 32.6 eV. These interactions consistently produce anomalously high charge states in the loosely-bound dense gas clusters; charge states of Xe⁸⁺, Kr⁶⁺, Ar⁵⁺, Ne³⁺, and N²⁺ were observed. The yield ratios of these charge states, as well as the ion and electron kinetic energies collected during these interactions, help to shed light on the processes of formation and dissociation of these dense plasmas.