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Coulomb explosion of a cluster irradiated by a high intensity laser pulse

Esirkepov, T. and Bingham, R. and Bulanov, S. and Honda, T. and Nishihara, K. and Pegoraro, F. (2000) Coulomb explosion of a cluster irradiated by a high intensity laser pulse. Laser and Particle Beams, 18 (3). pp. 503-506. ISSN 0263-0346

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Clusters represent a new class of laser pulse targets which show both the properties of underdense and of overdense plasmas. We present analytical and numerical results (based on 2D- and 3D-PIC simulations) of the Coulomb explosion of the ion cloud that is formed when a cluster is irradiated by a high-intensity laser pulse. For laser pulse intensities in the range of 1021−1022 W/cm2, the laser light can rip electrons from atoms almost instantaneously and can create a cloud made of an electrically nonneutral plasma. Ions can then be accelerated up to high energy during the Coulomb explosion of the cloud.