Kinetic energy distribution of multiply charged ions in Coulomb explosion of Xe clusters

Andreas Heidenreich, Joshua Jortner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We report on the calculations of kinetic energy distribution (KED) functions of multiply charged, high-energy ions in Coulomb explosion (CE) of an assembly of elemental Xen clusters (average size n 200-2171) driven by ultra-intense, near-infrared, Gaussian laser fields (peak intensities 10 15- 4 1016 W cm-2, pulse lengths 65-230 fs). In this cluster size and pulse parameter domain, outer ionization is incompletevertical, incompletenonvertical, or completenonvertical, with CE occurring in the presence of nanoplasma electrons. The KEDs were obtained from double averaging of single-trajectory molecular dynamics simulation ion kinetic energies. The KEDs were doubly averaged over a log-normal cluster size distribution and over the laser intensity distribution of a spatial Gaussian beam, which constitutes either a two-dimensional (2D) or a three-dimensional (3D) profile, with the 3D profile (when the cluster beam radius is larger than the Rayleigh length) usually being experimentally realized. The general features of the doubly averaged KEDs manifest the smearing out of the structure corresponding to the distribution of ion charges, a marked increase of the KEDs at very low energies due to the contribution from the persistent nanoplasma, a distortion of the KEDs and of the average energies toward lower energy values, and the appearance of long low-intensity high-energy tails caused by the admixture of contributions from large clusters by size averaging. The doubly averaged simulation results account reasonably well (within 30) for the experimental data for the cluster-size dependence of the CE energetics and for its dependence on the laser pulse parameters, as well as for the anisotropy in the angular distribution of the energies of the Xeq ions. Possible applications of this computational study include a control of the ion kinetic energies by the choice of the laser intensity profile (2D3D) in the laser-cluster interaction volume.

Original languageEnglish
Article number074315
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Volume134
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - 21 Feb 2011

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