By tightly focusing ultra-short pulses from a Ti:sapphire terawatt laser onto a high-Z metallic target, hard x-ray pulses of short duration are produced. In most of our previous work concerning x-rays, a 150 mJ laser pulse with a 110 A duration has been used. Using mostly tin and tantalum targets, hard x-rays in the 10-60 keV range have been produced and used in differential absorption imaging around the K-alpha absorption edge of a contrast agent and also in imaging employing gated viewing for suppression of scattered radiation. In order to increase the x-ray yield (shortening the acquisition time) an increase in the laser repetition rate is desirable while still staying in the K-alpha energy regime. We have used a I kHz repetition-rate laser delivering 35 fs pulses in order to work towards these goals. We have clear evidence of hard x-ray generation above 30 keV, even for low laser pulse energies. We also studied the effect of a fs prepulse. The medical imaging capability of the source was explored. The use of a prepulse has been optimized in order to improve the image quality as well as the overall x-ray generation yield.
NATURVETENSKAP -- Fysik -- Atom- och molekylfysik och optik (hsv//swe)
NATURAL SCIENCES -- Physical Sciences -- Atom and Molecular Physics and Optics (hsv//eng)