Abstract

The interaction of a very intense, very short laser pulse is modified by the presence of a preformed plasma prior to the main short pulse. The preformed plasma is created by a small prepulse interacting with the target prior to the main pulse. The prepulse has been monitored using a water-cell-protected fast photodiode allowing on every shot a high dynamic measurement of the pulse profile. Simultaneously we have used time-resolved interferometry to look at the preformed plasma on a 300 TW, 700 fs laser. The two-dimensional density maps obtained have been compared with two-dimensional hydrodynamic simulations.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

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