Abstract

We describe our optical-laser-pumped x-ray laser program. Our long-term goal is to develop and utilize a fully coherent, gigowatt-power-level sub-44-Å laser. To this end we have been studying the characteristics of the exploding-foil amplifier coupled with various inversion schemes: Ne-like and Ni-like collisional excitation as well as H-like three-body recombination. Most of our experimental results to date are for the Ne-like schemes; we have observed ~15 laser transitions in Se, Y, and Mo having wavelengths from 26.3 to 10.6 nm. Output power to at least 1 MW has been observed for the Se J = 2 to 1 lines at 20.6 and 20.9 Å along with geometrical divergence patterns for the beam. We have also observed time-dependent beam refraction from these amplifiers and have been able to demonstrate double-pass amplification by using a multilayer mirror operated at normal incidence. Future plans for improving beam coherence and producing lasing at wavelengths shorter than 44 Å are discussed.

© 1987 Optical Society of America

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