Intense Laser–Cluster Interactions

Authored by: Karl-Heinz Meiwes-Broer , Josef Tiggesbäumker , Thomas Fennel

2 Handbook of Nanophysics

Print publication date:  September  2010
Online publication date:  September  2010

Print ISBN: 9781420075540
eBook ISBN: 9781420075557
Adobe ISBN:


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The science of strong-field laser–matter interactions has experienced enormous developments due to the advent of the femto-second (fs) optical laser technology (Brabec and Krausz, 2000). With the possibility to adjust the intensity, field envelope, carrier phase, and polarization of the pulses almost at will, methods are at hand to drive, explore, and even control complex nonlinear processes on time scales down to the laser oscillation period. The investigation of small particles and clusters exposed to such tailored pulses has become a hot topic of present-day research. In fact, subjecting free atomic and molecular clusters to intense radiation has revealed fascinating phenomena like the generation of highly charged atomic ions (Ditmire et al., 1997a,b; Köller et al., 1999; Lezius et al., 1998; Snyder et al., 1996), energetic electrons (Döppner et al., 2006; Kumarappan et al., 2003a; Springate et al., 2003), and x-rays (McPherson et al., 1994; Parra et al., 2000; Prigent et al., 2008). Due to an extreme charging, the systems decay via Coulomb explosion (Köller et al., 1999; Saalmann and Rost, 2003; Suraud and Reinhard, 2000) with ion recoil energies up to 106 eV (Ditmire et al., 1997b; Lezius et al., 1998). Even nuclear fusion has been observed in the Coulomb explosion of deuterium clusters (Ditmire et al., 1999).

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