Abstract

We review results from an experimental investigation to examine the characteristics of x-ray generation from subpicosecond UV laser irradiation of collisionless gas targets under conditions such that the optical field strength is larger than an atomic unit. The purpose of the experiment was to test the conjecture that multiphoton-induced inner-shell excitation occurs at large laser irradiance. We found no evidence to support the validity of the conjecture at I ∼ 3 × 1017 W/cm2. We did, however, detect delayed x rays, which were generated for unexpectedly long times following laser irradiation of the target. We present numerical simulations describing the processes that give rise to this signal.

© 1990 Optical Society of America

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