A new method of optical guidance by the implosion phase of a fast Z-pinch discharge in a gas-filled capillary is proposed. An imploding plasma column has a concave electron-density profile in the radial direction, just before a stagnation phase driven by a converging current sheet and a shock wave. The feasibility of optical guidance of a high-intensity Ti:sapphire laser pulse by use of this method over a distance of 2 cm, corresponding to 12.5 times the Rayleigh length, has been experimentally demonstrated. The guiding-channel formation process was directly probed with a He–Ne laser beam. The electron density in the fully ionized channel was estimated to be on the axis and on the peaks of the channel edge, with a diameter of , as indicated by the experimental results, which were corroborated by a magnetohydrodynamics simulation.
© 2000 Optical Society of AmericaFull Article | PDF Article
S. M. Hooker, D. J. Spence, and R. A. Smith
J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 17(1) 90-98 (2000)
A. Zigler, Y. Ehrlich, C. Cohen, J. Krall, and P. Sprangle
J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 13(1) 68-71 (1996)
Y. Ehrlich, C. Cohen, D. Kaganovich, A. Zigler, R. F. Hubbard, P. Sprangle, and E. Esarey
J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 15(9) 2416-2423 (1998)