Abstract

A recently developed laser-produced plasma channel is shown to be a promising means to produce an efficient, compact soft-x-ray laser. The channel provides a route for efficient high-power laser pumping through optical waveguiding of the pump. The channel also acts as a waveguide for generated soft x rays, as it has wavelength-independent mode structure. It is shown that channel creation and guided laser pulses of moderate duration and energy can be highly effective in producing nonequilibrium gas density plasmas and candidate ions for collisional and recombination laser schemes. The nonequilibrium behavior of these plasmas can be exploited to generate substantial population inversions.

© 1995 Optical Society of America

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