Abstract

Collisionally pumped soft-x-ray lasers now operate over a wavelength range extending from 4 to 40 nm. With the recent advances in the development of multilayer mirrors and beam splitters in the soft-x-ray regime, we can utilize the unique properties of x-ray lasers to study large, rapidly evolving laser-driven plasmas with high electron densities. Using a neonlike yttrium x-ray laser, which operates at a wavelength of 15.5 nm, we have performed a series of radiography, moiré deflectometry, and interferometry experiments to characterize plasmas relevant to inertial confinement fusion. We describe experiments using a soft-x-ray laser interferometer, operated in the Mach–Zehnder configuration, to study CH plasmas. The two-dimensional density profiles obtained from the interferograms allow us to validate and benchmark our numerical models used to study the physics of laser–plasma interactions.

© 1996 Optical Society of America

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