Commissioning of E5 target area of ELI-NP


In the period July - October 2021 the commissioning of the 1 PW experimental area E5 of ELI-NP was performed. An F/3.5 short focusing parabolic mirror was used with laser pulses of energy up to 23 J and compressed down to 25 fs to accelerate ions via the TNSA mechanism. A very good performance of the laser system and the experimental area have been demonstrated in this campaign.
Multiple diagnostics were deployed to assess the characteristics of the laser pulses and secondary radiations. The laser pulse duration, near-field and spectrum were monitored on-shot at full energy, close to the interaction point, showing proper characteristics of the transport system. The focusing mirror allowed for 70% encircled laser energy in a typical spot of 3.5 μm FWHM, with about ±2 μrad pointing stability. A probe beam was used to image the pre-plasma formation. Targets of different materials with thicknesses ranging from 0.3 μm to 30 μm were used, the obtained results being in agreement with the literature.
After a gradual ramping up of the laser energy to safely test the performance of the laser and experimental setup, we have achieved shots on target at full power. Below, some of the results from a preliminary analysis are shown. A large data set was collected and presently it is under analysis.