Laser plasma studies
Plasma is the state of matter in which a significant fraction of the atoms is ionized. High power lasers are capable of producing plasmas with very high density - as high as solid density. Laser plasmas are often characterized by steep gradients in space and time, and in many cases non-equilibrium behavior.
Our experimental studies of laser plasmas concentrate on intensity regimes from 109 to 1013 W/cm2. In this regime, plasma temperatures range from a few eV to several hundred eV. Our research emphasizes radiative properties of laser plasma and "radiation hydrodynamics", which results from strong coupling of the hydrodynamic behavior and the radiation field.
At present we are undertaking two projects in laser plasma physics. First, we are studying laser plasma light sources for extreme ultraviolet lithography. Key issues include the efficiency of in-band emission and control of debris emitted by the plasma. In addition to this project, we are collaborating with researchers at LLNL to develop techniques to produce uniform temperature and density in underdense plasmas.