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Graduate Exam Abstract


Clayton Bargsten

M.S. Final

December 18, 2015, 10:30 am - 11:30 am

ERC Room A210

VOLUMETRIC CREATION OF ULTRA-HIGH-ENERGY-DENSITY PLASMA BY IRRADIATION OF ORDERED NANOWIRE ARRAYS


Abstract: Creating appreciable volumes of Ultra- High-Energy Density (UHED) matter in the laboratory is a challenge. Recent developments in the fabrication of vertically aligned nanowire array targets, in coordination with ultra-high- contrast femtosecond laser pulses focused to relativistic intensity, has opened the door to creating UHED matter using compact laser facilities with laser pulses of ~ 0.6 J. These high aspect ratio, vertically aligned nanostructure targets are shown to allow the laser energy to penetrate deep into the near-solid density material and heat plasmas to keV temperatures, generating Gbar pressures that are only surpassed in the laboratory by the central hot-spot of highly compressed thermonuclear fusion plasmas. The depth of the heated volume is key in governing the properties of these new UHED plasmas, and is reported here for the first time in vertically aligned nanowire arrays using a buried-tracer technique. In this study, arrays of 55 nm diameter nanowires, manufactured with a variable length segment of nickel on top of a buried cobalt segment, were irradiated with relativistic femtosecond laser pulses of (4 ± 1) x 1019 W cm-2 intensity. Buried Co atoms are observed to ionize to the He-like state for depths greater than 4 µm, in good agreement with particle-in-cell simulations. The measured heat penetration demonstrates that the UHED plasma regime can be accessed with small high repetition rate lasers.

Adviser: Jorge Rocca
Co-Adviser: N/A
Non-ECE Member: Jacob Roberts, Physics
Member 3: Mario Marconi, ECE
Addional Members: N/A

Publications:
• Purvis, M; Shlyaptsev, V; Hollinger, R; Bargsten, C; Pukhov, A; Prieto, A; Wang, Y; Luther, B; Yin, L; Wang, S; Rocca, J. Relativistic plasma nanophotonics for ultrahigh energy density physics. Nature Photonics. 7, 796-800 (2013).

• Bargsten, C; Hollinger, R; Shlyaptsev, V; Pukhov, A; Keiss, D; Townsend, A; Wang, Y; Wang, S; Prieto, A; Rocca, J. Volumetric Heating of Ultra-High Energy Density Relativistic Plasmas by Ultrafast Laser Irradiation of Aligned Nanowire Arrays. Bulletin of the American Physical Society 59 (2014).

• Hollinger, R; Bargsten, C; Shlyaptsev, V; Pukhov, A; Purvis, M; Townsend, A; Keiss, D; Wang, Y; Wang, S; Prieto, A; Rocca, J. "X-ray Emission Characteristics of Ultra-High Energy Density Relativistic Plasmas Created by Ultrafast Laser Irradiation of Nanowire Arrays." Bulletin of the American Physical Society 59 (2014).

• Purvis, M; Rocca, J; Hollinger, R; Bargsten, C; Shlyaptsev, V; Luther, B; Pukhov, A; Menoni, C; Wang, Y; Yin, L; Prieto, A; Townsend, A; Keiss, D. "Ultra-High Energy Density Relativistic Plasmas and X-ray Generation by Ultrafast Laser Irradiation of Nanowire Arrays." In CLEO: QELS_Fundamental Science, pp. FTu2D-5. Optical Society of America, 2014.

• Rocca, J; Purvis, M; Shlyaptsev, V; Hollinger, R; Bargsten, C; Pukhov, A; Keiss, D; Townsend, A; Prieto, A; Wang, Y; Yin, L; Wang, S; Luther, B; Woolston, M. Ultra-High Energy Density Relativistic Plasmas by Ultrafast Laser Irradiation of Aligned Nanowire Arrays. Annual meeting of the Division of Plasma Physics. Bulletin of the American Physical Society. 58 (2013).

• Shlyaptsev, V; Pukhov, A; Purvis, M; Hollinger, R; Bargsten, C; Rocca, J. Simulations of Ultra-HED Plasmas Created by Femtosecond Laser Irradiation of Vertically Aligned Nanowire Arrays. Annual meeting of the Division of Plasma Physics. Bulletin of the American Physical Society. 58 (2013).


Program of Study:
ECE 404: Experiments-Optical Electronics
ECE 441: Optical Electronics
ECE 503: Ultrafast Optics
ECE 505: Nanostructures: Fund. & Apps.
ECE 506: Opt. Int. & Laser Metrology
ECE 546: Laser Fundamentals & Devices
ECE 580A: Experimental Nanophotonics A
PHYS 771C: Adv Tpcs - Plasma Physics