The development of second-generation short-pulse laser-driven radiation sources requires a mature understanding of relativistic laser-plasma processes such as plasma oscillations, heating and transport of relativistic electrons as well as the development of plasma instabilities. These dynamic effects occurring on nanometer scales are very difficult to access experimentally during their existence of a few tens of femtoseconds, which often poses a problem of identifying, understanding, modeling and optimizing them.
With Small Angle X-ray Scattering (SAXS) at the LCLS femtosecond x-ray free electron laser facility we were able to measure the non-linear dynamics in the relativistic intensity regime using the MEC short pulse laser [Kluge et al., Phys. Rev. X 8, 031068 (2018)]. We report on the plasma expansion dynamics observed with this technique giving us a unique insight into the fast surface dynamics. Based on those results we designed a follow-up experiment with significantly higher pump intensity, improved targetry and particle diagnostics. This provides unprecedented capabilities by combining a full suite of particle and radiation diagnostics with SAXS and resonant scattering, providing access to a simultaneous measurement of multi-layer correlations in transmission geometry, ionization states and hence plasma temperature.
|Working group||Laser-driven ion acceleration|