JAI student Emma-Jane Ditter passed her PhD with her thesis title "Optical diagnostics of ultra-thin target laser-plasma interactions".
Emma’s thesis explores the properties of the transmitted and reflected light from laser -plasma experiments using nanometre scale solid-density targets. Based on experimental data from the Astra Gemini laser facility, the thesis shows how, by analysing the spatial features and quantity of transmitted and reflected light, more information on the laser-plasma interaction can be inferred.
Results from a novel diagnostic are also presented, where the first temporal measurement of radiation emitted by hot electrons on a femtosecond timescale are given. These results are backed up by particle-in-cell simulations, showing strong target heating with electron temperatures up to 1.5MeV. Finally, experimental results from a target irradiated by high intensities (1021Wcm-2) shows variations in the target front surface for different laser harmonics.
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