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13 September 2005 Grazing incidence pumping for high efficiency x-ray lasers
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Over the last decade, most laser-driven collisional excitation x-ray lasers have relied on the absorption of the pump energy incident at normal incidence to a pre-formed plasma. The main advantage is that the inversion can be created at various plasma regions in space and time where the amplification and ray propagation processes are best served. The main disadvantage is that different plasma regions regardless of the contribution to the inversion have to be pumped simultaneously in order to make the laser work. This leads to a loss of efficiency. The new scheme of grazing incidence pumping (GRIP) addresses this issue. In essence, a chosen electron density region of a pre-formed plasma column, produced by a longer pulse at normal incidence onto a slab target, is selectively pumped by focusing a short pulse of 100 fs-10 ps duration laser at a determined grazing incidence angle to the target surface. The exact angle is dependent on the pump wavelength and relates to refraction of the drive beam in the plasma. The controlled use of refraction of the pumping laser in the plasma results in several benefits: The pump laser path length is longer and there is an increase in the laser absorption in the gain region for creating a collisional Ni-like ion x-ray laser. There is also an inherent traveling wave, close to c, that increases the overall pumping efficiency. This can lead to a 3-30 times reduction in the pump energy for mid-Z, sub-20 nm lasers. We report several examples of this new x-ray laser on two different laser systems. The first demonstrates a 10 Hz x-ray laser operating at 18.9 nm pumped with a total of 150 mJ of 800 nm wavelength from a Ti:Sapphire laser. The second case is shown where the COMET laser is used both at 527 nm and 1054 nm wavelength to pump higher Z materials with the goal of extending the wavelength regime of tabletop x-ray lasers below 10 nm.
© (2005) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
J. Dunn, R. Keenan, and V. N. Shlyaptsev "Grazing incidence pumping for high efficiency x-ray lasers", Proc. SPIE 5919, Soft X-Ray Lasers and Applications VI, 591905 (13 September 2005);

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