Pulsed beams of energetic x-rays and neutrons from intense laser interactions with solid foils are promising for applications where bright, small emission area sources, capable of multi-modal delivery are ideal. Possible end users of laser-driven multi-modal sources are those requiring advanced non-destructive inspection techniques in industry sectors of high value commerce such as aerospace, nuclear and advanced manufacturing. We report on experimental work that demonstrates multi-modal operation of high power laser-solid interactions for neutron and x-ray beam generation. Measurements and Monte Carlo radiation transport simulations show that neutron yield is increased by a factor ∼2 when a 1 mm copper foil is placed behind a 2 mm lithium foil, compared to using a 2 cm block of lithium only. We explore x-ray generation with a 10 picosecond drive pulse in order to tailor the spectral content for radiography with medium density alloy metals. The impact of using >1 ps pulse duration on laser-accelerated electron beam generation and transport is discussed alongside the optimisation of subsequent bremsstrahlung emission in thin, high atomic number target foils. X-ray spectra are deconvolved from spectrometer measurements and simulation data generated using the GEANT4 Monte Carlo code. We also demonstrate the unique capability of laser-driven x-rays in being able to deliver single pulse high spatial resolution projection imaging of thick metallic objects. Active detector radiographic imaging of industrially relevant sample objects with a 10 ps drive pulse is presented for the first time, demonstrating that features of 200 μm size are resolved when projected at high magnification.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Nuclear Energy and Engineering