Abstract

We observe strong emission from the 1s2–1snp Rydberg series in He-like Ne and from the Lyman-α transition in H-like Ne. These emissions are observed when 1.05-μm light in a 600-fs laser pulse is focused into the dense, localized output of a pulsed supersonic nozzle. The maximum focal irradiance of our laser was measured at full power in vacuum to be 1.1 × 1018 W/cm2. Although emissions from lower charge states such as Ne6+ and Ne7+ closely follow rates predicted by tunneling theory, emissions from Ne8+ and Ne9+ are observed at irradiances 2 orders of magnitude below tunneling theory estimates. We discuss the origins of these anomalously high charge states and the implications to the development of short-pulse, ultrahigh-brightness x-ray sources.

© 1996 Optical Society of America

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