Determining the short laser pulse contrast based on X-Ray emission spectroscopy

A.S. Martynenko, I.Yu. Skobelev, S.A. Pikuz, S.N. Ryazantsev, C. Baird, N. Booth, L. Doehl, P. Durey, D. Farley, R. Kodama, Kate Lancaster, P. McKenna, C. Murphy, C. Spindloe, T.A. Pikuz, N. Woolsey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The interaction of high-power short lasers with solid density targets is an important application of modern solid state lasers. However, uncertainties in measurements due to lack of information on the laser pedestal-to-peak contrast limits the validity of many conclusions. We show that X-ray spectral measurements can provide a straightforward way for accessing the laser pedestal-to-peak contrast. The experiments use silicon targets and relativistic laser intensities of 3 × 10 20 W/cm 2 with a pulse duration of 1 ps. By not using or using a plasma mirror we compare low and high contrast measurements of the Ly-α line and its satellites to show that these lines are an effective laser contrast diagnostic. This diagnostic has potential to reduce uncertainty in future laser-solid interaction studies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100924
Number of pages5
JournalHigh Energy Density Physics
Early online date27 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - 28 Mar 2021


  • laser contrast control
  • x-ray emission spectroscopy
  • plasma diagnostics
  • strong field laser physics
  • relative laser plasma


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