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Suppression of multiple ionization of atomic ions in intense ultrafast laser pulses

Greenwood, J.B. and Johnston, I.M.G. and McKenna, P. and Williams, I.D. and Goodworth, T.R.J. and Sanderson, J.H. and Bryan, W.A. and El-Zein, A.A.A. and Newell, W.R. and Langley, A.J. and Divall, E.J. (2002) Suppression of multiple ionization of atomic ions in intense ultrafast laser pulses. Physical Review Letters, 88 (23). pp. 233001-1. ISSN 0031-9007

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The interaction of an intense laser field with a beam of atomic ions has been investigated experimentally for the first time. The ionization dynamics of Ar+ ions and Ar neutrals in a 60 fs, 790 nm laser pulse have been compared and contrasted at intensities up to 1016 W cm-2. Our results show that nonsequential ionization from an Ar+ target is strongly suppressed compared with that from the corresponding neutral target. We have also observed for the first time the strong field ionization of high lying target metastable levels in the Ar+ beam.