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Title: Liquid crystal films as on-demand, variable thickness (50–5000 nm) targets for intense lasers

We have developed a new type of target for intense laser-matter experiments that offers significant advantages over those currently in use. The targets consist of a liquid crystal film freely suspended within a metal frame. They can be formed rapidly on-demand with thicknesses ranging from nanometers to micrometers, where the particular value is determined by the liquid crystal temperature and initial volume as well as by the frame geometry. The liquid crystal used for this work, 8CB (4′-octyl-4-cyanobiphenyl), has a vapor pressure below 10{sup −6} Torr, so films made at atmospheric pressure maintain their initial thickness after pumping to high vacuum. Additionally, the volume per film is such that each target costs significantly less than one cent to produce. The mechanism of film formation and relevant physics of liquid crystals are described, as well as ion acceleration data from the first shots on liquid crystal film targets at the Ohio State University Scarlet laser facility.
Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;  [1]
  1. Physics Department, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43210 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22299980
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physics of Plasmas; Journal Volume: 21; Journal Issue: 6; Other Information: (c) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; 70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; FILMS; LASERS; LIQUID CRYSTALS; PLASMA ACCELERATION; PRESSURE RANGE MICRO PA; THICKNESS; VAPOR PRESSURE