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A study of stimulated Raman scattering in a CO₂ laser produced plasma McIntosh, Grant William John


Stimulated Raman scattering (SRS) has been studied experimentally in a CO₂ laser plasma interaction. A N₂ gas jet target was irradiated with CO₂ laser light (wavelength, ⋋ = 10.6 µm and frequency, ѡ₀) at intensities up to 10¹⁴ Wcm⁻². SRS occurs at intensities greater than 3 x 10¹³ Wcm⁻², which is fair agreement with threshold predictions for a plasma with an electron temperature of 300eV and a density scale length of 300µm. After this intensity is reached, the plasma waves grow exponentially in time with a growth rate of 6 x 10⁻³ѡ₀. This was measured with ps resolution ruby laser Thomson scattering. Spatial growth was also observed. Scattered infrared light at 2⋋ was found. Weak IR light in a broad band near 15µm was also found. The saturated plasma wave level and the number of hot electrons at 150 keV are well correlated, which indicates that trapping is responsible for the electrons. However, trapping is not responsible for the saturation of the instability. Frequency resolved Thomson scattering revealed that ion acoustic waves start at the peak of the SRS fluctuations. Once the ion acoustic waves grow to a large amplitude, SRS is quenched and does not reappear.

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