Diagnostic of laser contrast using target reflectivity

Pirozhkov, A.S. and Choi, I.W. and Sung, J.H. and Lee, S.K. and Yu, T.J. and Jeong, T.M. and Kim, I.J. and Hafz, N. and McKenna, P. and Carroll, D.C. (2009) Diagnostic of laser contrast using target reflectivity. Applied Physics Letters, 94 (24). 241102-1-241102-3. ISSN 0003-6951

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Abstract

Using three different laser systems, we demonstrate a convenient and simple plasma based diagnostic of the contrast of high-power short-pulse lasers. The technique is based on measuring the specular reflectivity from a solid target. The reflectivity remains high even at relativistic intensities above 10(19) W/cm(2) in the case of a high-contrast prepulse-free laser. On the contrary, the specular reflectivity drops with increasing intensities in the case of systems with insufficient contrast due to beam breakup and increased absorption caused by preplasma.