The rate at which atoms and ions within a plasma are further ionized by collisions with the free electrons is a fundamental parameter that dictates the dynamics of plasma systems at intermediate and high densities. While collision rates are well known experimentally in a few dilute systems, similar measurements for nonideal plasmas at densities approaching or exceeding those of solids remain elusive. Here we describe a spectroscopic method to study collision rates in solid-density aluminium plasmas created and diagnosed using the Linac Coherent light Source free-electron X-ray laser, tuned to specific interaction pathways around the absorption edges of ionic charge states. We estimate the rate of collisional ionization in solid-density aluminium plasmas at temperatures ∼30eV to be several times higher than that predicted by standard semiempirical models.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)