Ultrafast electron dynamics and inner-shell ionization in laser driven clusters

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The ionization dynamics of small rare-gas clusters in intense, ultrafast laser fields are studied via classical trajectory Monte Carlo simulations. Our results indicate that for similar laser pulses the charge states reached by atoms in a cluster can be significantly higher than those for atoms in the gas phase. The ionization enhancement is strongly dependent on the cluster density and exhibits a rapid increase in charge state once the laser intensity has reached the threshold for single ionization. This 'ionization ignition model' is driven by the combination of the laser field and the strong field from the ionized cluster atoms. Approximate atomic inner-shell ionization probabilities are calculated for several cluster densities and peak laser intensities and provide evidence for the generation of inner-shell holes on an ultrafast time scale. This is a necessary condition for the generation of x-ray pulses with temporal widths comparable to that of the driving laser pulses. © 1997 The American Physical Society.

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Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics

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