Plasma-Laser Interactions with Solid Polystyrene Microspheres.
Interim technical rept.,
TEXAS TECH UNIV LUBBOCK PLASMA LAB
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The basic mechanisms involved in a solid-plasma interaction have been studied. In order to measure the ablation rates of solid polystyrene spheres of 50 to 150 micrometers radii, the pellets were suspended on glass fibers and exposed to a dense, hot theta pinch plasma. The pellet sizes were measured before and after each 2 microsec pellet-plasma interaction, and the results were plotted against several plasma parameters. Qualitative agreement with recent theoretical scaling laws was obtained. The pellet surfaces acquired a fine polish when exposed to a plasma as indicated by electron microscopy. Comparison of the ionization intensities in the ablating neutral material through the first four carbon lines indicated pellet cloud temperatures in the range of 5 eV. Both spectroscopy and streak camera photography showed that focusing a Q-switched ruby laser on the pellet during the plasma interaction produced a marked increase in the ionization intensities that was sustained long after the laser pulse. The pellet-plasma interaction alone was determined to be an inefficient means of generating X-rays. The combination pellet-plasma-laser interaction promises to be a feasible radiation source for durations much longer than those produced with only the laser-solid system.
- Lasers and Masers
- Plasma Physics and Magnetohydrodynamics