Publications Repository - Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf

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Visualizing Ultrafast Kinetic Instabilities in Laser-Driven Solids using X-ray Scattering

Ordyna, P.; Bussmann, M.; Gaus, L.; Grenzer, J.; Gutt, C.; Huang, L.; Laso García, A.; Garten, M.; Höppner, H.; Humpries, O.; Marre, B. E.; Metzkes-Ng, J.; Nakatsutsumi, M.; Öztürk, Ö.; Pan, X.; Paschke-Brühl, F.-L.; Pelka, A.; Prencipe, I.; Randolph, L.; Schlenvoigt, H.-P.; Smid, M.; Stefanikova, R.; Thiessenhusen, E.; Toncian, T.; Zeil, K.; Schramm, U.; Cowan, T.; Kluge, T.


Ultra-intense lasers that ionize and accelerate electrons in solids to near the speed of light can lead to kinetic instabilities that alter the laser absorption and subsequent electron transport, isochoric heating, and ion acceleration.
These instabilities can be difficult to characterize, but a novel approach using X-ray scattering at keV energies allows for their visualization with femtosecond temporal resolution on the few nanometer mesoscale.
Our experiments on laser-driven flat silicon membranes show the development of structure with a dominant scale of $~60\unit{nm}$ in the plane of the laser axis and laser polarization, and $~95\unit{nm}$ in the vertical direction with a growth rate faster than $0.1/\mathrm{fs}$.
Combining the XFEL experiments with simulations provides a complete picture of the structural evolution of ultra-fast laser-induced instability development, indicating the excitation of surface plasmons and the growth of a new type of filamentation instability.
These findings provide new insight into the ultra-fast instability processes in solids under extreme conditions at the nanometer level with important implications for inertial confinement fusion and laboratory astrophysics.

Keywords: laser; proton; ion; acceleration; HIBEF; HED; European; XFEL; SAXS

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