Indexed on: 01 Mar '04Published on: 01 Mar '04Published in: Plasma Physics Reports
Results are presented from experimental studies of discharge instabilities and the energy and temporal characteristics of a vacuum-diode X-ray source with a laser plasma cathode over a wide range of energies, intensities, and durations of the plasma-forming laser pulse. It is experimentally shown that the vacuum-discharge dynamics and radiation processes in different discharge stages substantially depend on the parameters of the laser radiation. The shortest recorded pulse duration (10 ns) of Ti K-line radiation (4.5 keV) with a total photon number of 1011 is achieved when the laser plasma cathode is produced by a laser pulse with a duration of 27 ps and an intensity of 1013 W/cm2. It is found that the contrast of characteristic emission against the bremsstrahlung background is maximum when discharge instabilities are suppressed and the accelerating voltage is three to four times higher than the threshold voltage for line excitation.