Investigation of femtosecond collisional ionization rates in a solid-density aluminium plasma

S. M. Vinko, O. Ciricosta, T. R. Preston, D. S. Rackstraw, C. R.D. Brown, T. Burian, J. Chalupský, B. I. Cho, H. K. Chung, K. Engelhorn, R. W. Falcone, R. Fiokovinini, V. Hájková, P. A. Heimann, L. Juha, H. J. Lee, R. W. Lee, M. Messerschmidt, B. Nagler, W. SchlotterJ. J. Turner, L. Vysin, U. Zastrau, J. S. Wark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6397
JournalNature communications
StatePublished - Mar 4 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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