Abstract

Talbot–Lau x-ray interferometry is a grating-based phase-contrast technique, which enables measurement of refractive index changes in matter with micrometric spatial resolution. The technique has been established using a variety of hard x-ray sources, including synchrotron, free-electron lasers, and x-ray tubes, and could be used in the optical range for low-density plasmas. The tremendous development of table-top high-power lasers makes the use of high-intensity, laser-driven K-alpha sources appealing for Talbot–Lau interferometer applications in both high-energy-density plasma experiments and biological imaging. To this end, we present the first, to the best of our knowledge, feasibility study of Talbot–Lau phase-contrast imaging using a high-repetition-rate laser of moderate energy (100 mJ at a repetition rate of 10 Hz) to irradiate a copper backlighter foil. The results from up to 900 laser pulses were integrated to form interferometric images. A constant fringe contrast of 20% is demonstrated over 100 accumulations, while the signal-to-noise ratio continued to increase with the number of shots. Phase retrieval is demonstrated without prior ex-situ phase stepping. Instead, correlation matrices are used to compensate for the displacement between reference acquisition and the probing of a PMMA target rod. The steps for improved measurements with more energetic laser systems are discussed. The final results are in good agreement with the theoretically predicted outcomes, demonstrating the applicability of this diagnostic to a range of laser facilities for use across several disciplines.

© 2020 Optical Society of America

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