The study of plasmas generated by irradiation of high density matter with ultra-short, high power laser pulses at relativistic intensities is motivated: (1) by the understanding of new states of matter and (2) by the development of compact radiation and particle sources, which are of high relevance for applications in physics, life science and medicine.
The Arcturus Laser is a versatile system with three beam lines: two laser beams operate at the 200 TW power level (7 Joule per pulse) whereas a low energy beam is used for diagnostic purposes (100mJ). Its unique configuration and the large flexibility of the main laser beams allow laser parameters (energy, pulse duration, contrast, and relative temporal delay) to be changed easily, according with the various experimental requirements.
The research covers the acceleration of particle beams (electrons, protons, ions) and the generation of high brilliance radiation sources (HHG, up-converted radiation) by using single or dual high power beam configuration. In particular, novel interaction conditions were explored with the use of structured and engineered targets.
In the presentation several processes will be discussed including surface electron acceleration by modulated targets, Thomson scattering and plasma X-ray emission