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Ablating Ion Velocity Distributions in Short-Pulse-Heated Solids via X-Ray Doppler Shifts

Dec 2, 2022. Publications


Solids ablate under laser irradiation, but experiments have not previously characterized the initiation of this process at ultrarelativistic laser intensities. We present first measurements of bulk ion velocity distributions as ablation begins, captured as a function of depth via Doppler-shifted x-ray line emission from two viewing angles. Bayesian analysis indicates that bulk ions are either nearly stationary or flowing outward at the plasma sound speed. The measurements quantitatively constrain the laser-plasma ablation mechanism, suggesting that a steplike electrostatic potential structure drives solid disassembly. 


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