Liquid ethanol (C2H5OH) was used to generate a spray of sub-micron droplets. Sprays with different nozzle geometries have been tested and characterised using Mie scattering to find scaling properties and to generate droplets with different diameters within the spray. Nozzles having throat diameters of 470 µm and 560 µm showed generation of ethanol spray with droplet diameters of (180 ± 10) nm and (140 ± 10) nm, respectively. These investigations were motivated by the observation of copious negative ions from these target systems, e.g., negative oxygen and carbon ions measured from water and ethanol sprays irradiated with ultra-intense (5 × 1019 W/cm2), ultra short (40 fs) laser pulses. It is shown that the droplet diameter and the average atomic density of the spray have a significant effect on the numbers and energies of accelerated ions, both positive and negative. These targets open new possibilities for the creation of efficient and compact sources of different negative ion species.
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