Abstract

We present results of an experiment in which x rays from an optical-field ionized plasma are generated under well-controlled conditions in a low-pressure gas cell. In this way high-density effects such as electron heating, collisional ionization, and ionization defocusing are avoided. Using N2 as the medium, we show that many features of the soft-x-ray emission follow theoretical predictions. In particular, higher x-ray intensity is observed on most lines for circularly than for linearly polarized light. However, several Li-like lines show anomalously strong emission for linear polarization. Mechanisms that may be responsible for this effect are discussed.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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