Laser heating of solid matter by light-pressure-driven shocks at ultrarelativistic intensities

Phys Rev Lett. 2008 Apr 25;100(16):165002. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.100.165002. Epub 2008 Apr 23.


The heating of solid targets irradiated by 5 x 10(20) W cm(-2), 0.8 ps, 1.05 microm wavelength laser light is studied by x-ray spectroscopy of the K-shell emission from thin layers of Ni, Mo, and V. A surface layer is heated to approximately 5 keV with an axial temperature gradient of 0.6 microm scale length. Images of Ni Ly(alpha) show the hot region has <or=25 microm diameter. These data are consistent with collisional particle-in-cell simulations using preformed plasma density profiles from hydrodynamic modeling which show that the >100 G bar light pressure compresses the preformed plasma and drives a shock into the solid, heating a thin layer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.