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Shock Excitation and Cooling Stage in the Laser Plasma Induced by a Q-Switched Nd:YAG Laser at Low Pressures

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Abstract:

An experimental study has been carried out on the dynamical process taking place in the secondary plasma generated by a Q-switched Nd:YAG laser (80 mJ, 8 ns) on a copper target at reduced pressure. Accurate dynamical characterization of the cross-sectional view of the plasma has been made possible by the unique combination of a plasma confinement configuration and the time-resolved measurement technique. In addition to reaffirming the role of the blast-wave mechanism in the generation of secondary plasma, an analysis of the time-resolved spatial distributions of emission intensities and the time-resolved spatial distributions of temperature was made. As a result, the occurrence of two-stage emission processes, the "shock excitation stage" and "cooling stage," has been proved. For instance, at 2 Torr it is shown that the emission process is initiated by a brief shock excitation process (~1 mu s) and followed by a longer cooling process (~3 mu s). The experimental results concerning the characteristics of the plasma can be well understood by considering the two-stage processes.
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