A novel method for characterising the full spectrum of deuteron ions emitted by laser driven multi-species ion sources is discussed. The procedure is based on using differential filtering over the detector of a Thompson parabola ion spectrometer, which enables discrimination of deuterium ions from heavier ion species with the same charge-to-mass ratio (such as C6 +, O8 +, etc.). Commonly used Fuji Image plates were used as detectors in the spectrometer, whose absolute response to deuterium ions over a wide range of energies was calibrated by using slotted CR-39 nuclear track detectors. A typical deuterium ion spectrum diagnosed in a recent experimental campaign is presented, which was produced from a thin deuterated plastic foil target irradiated by a high power laser.
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