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Interaction of nanosecond laser pulse with tetramethyl silane (Si(CH3)4) clusters: Generation of multiply charged silicon and carbon ions

Author(s): Purav M. Badani | Soumitra Das | Venkateswara Rao Mundlapati | Pramod Sharma | Rajesh K. Vatsa

Journal: AIP Advances
ISSN 2158-3226

Volume: 1;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 042164;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Present work reports significantly high levels of ionization, eventually leading to Coulomb explosion of Tetramethyl silane (TMS) clusters, on interaction with laser pulses of intensity ∼109 W/cm2. Tetramethyl silane clusters, prepared by supersonic expansion were photoionized at 266, 355 or 532 nm and the resultant ions were detected using time-of-flight mass spectrometer. It is observed that wavelength of irradiation and the size of the cluster are crucial parameters which drastically affect the nature of charge species generated upon photoionization of cluster. The results show that clusters absorb significantly higher energy from the laser field at longer wavelengths (532 nm) and generate multiply charged silicon and carbon ions which have large kinetic energies. Further, laser-cluster interaction at different wavelengths has been quantified and charge densities at 266, 355 and 532 nm are found to be 4x 1010, 5x 1010 and 5x 1011 charges/cm3 respectively. These unusual results have been rationalized based on dominance of secondary ionization processes at 532 nm ultimately leading to Coulomb explosion of clusters. In another set of experiments, multiply charged ions of Ar (up to +5 state) and Kr (up to +6 state) were observed when TMS doped inert gas clusters were photoionized at 532 and 355 nm. The extent of energy absorption at these two wavelengths is clearly manifested from the charge state of the atomic ions generated upon Coulomb disintegration of the doped cluster. These experiments thus demonstrate a novel method for generation of multiply charged atomic ions of inert gases at laser intensity of ∼ 109 W/cm2. The average size of the cluster exhibiting Coulomb explosion phenomena under giga watt intensity conditions has been estimated to be ∼ 6 nm. Experimental results obtained in the present work agree qualitatively with the model proposed earlier [D. Niu, H. Li, F. Liang, L. Wen, X. Luo, B. Wang, and H. Qu, J. Chem. Phys. 122, 151103(2005)] and point towards interaction of quasi-free electrons, generated during primary multiphoton ionization step, with a given wavelength in the presence of Coulombic field.
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