Laser and Particle Beams

Research Article

Plastic plasma as a compressor of aluminum plasma at the PALS experiment

A. Kasperczuka1 c1, T. Pisarczyka1, T. Chodukowskia1, Z. Kalinowskaa1, S.Yu. Gus'kova2, N.N. Demchenkoa2, D. Klira3, J. Kravarika3, P. Kubesa3, K. Rezaca3, J. Ullschmieda4, E. Krouskya5, M. Pfeifera5, K. Rohlenaa5, J. Skalaa5 and P. Pisarczyka6

a1 Institute of Plasma Physics and Laser Microfusion, Warsaw, Poland

a2 P.N. Lebedev Physical Institute of RAS, Moscow, Russia

a3 Czech Technical University in Prague, FEE, Prague, Czech Republic

a4 Institute of Plasma Physics ASCR, v.v.i., Prague, Czech Republic

a5 Institute of Physics ASCR, v.v.i., Prague, Czech Republic

a6 Warsaw University of Technology, ICS, Warsaw, Poland


In our earlier papers, we demonstrated that plasma pressure decreases with the growing atomic number of the target material. That experimentally confirmed fact brought about a question whether it would be possible to collimate the Al plasma outflow by using plastic plasma as a compressor. To prove that idea we used in our next experiments a plastic target with an Al cylindrical insert of 400 µm in diameter. The measurements were carried out at the Prague Asterix Laser System iodine laser facility. The laser provided a 250 ps (full width at half maximum (FWHM)) pulse with energy of 130 J at the third harmonic frequency (λ3 = 0.438 µm). The focal spot diameters (ΦL) 800, 1000, and 1200 µm ensured predominance of the plastic plasma amount high enough for the effective Al plasma compression. To study the Al plasma stream propagation and its interaction with plastic plasma a three-frame interferometric system and an X-ray camera were used. The experiment provided a proof that creation of the collimated Al plasma jet by action of outer plastic plasma is feasible. In order to discuss of the experimental results a thorough theoretical analysis was carried out.

(Received July 19 2011)

(Accepted August 24 2011)


  • Atomic number;
  • Electron density distribution;
  • Interaction of plasmas;
  • Plasma pressure;
  • Target irradiation


c1 Address correspondence and reprint request to: A. Kasperczuk, Institute of Plasma Physics and Laser Microfusion, Warsaw, Poland. E-mail: