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Title: Enhanced bremsstrahlung X-ray emission from Ag nanoparticles irradiated by ultrashort laser pulses
Authors: Sankar, P.
Thomas, J.
Shashikala, H.D.
Philip, R.
Issue Date: 2019
Citation: Optical Materials, 2019, Vol.92, , pp.30-35
Abstract: In this work, an Ag nanoparticle colloidal suspension flowing in the form of a thin jet (250 ?m) is irradiated by 150 femtosecond, 800 nm laser pulses to form a plasma which emits bremsstrahlung X-rays of up to 100 keV energy. The flowing jet ensures long-term durability of the plasma source during continuous laser irradiation. The laser pulse is p-polarized and the angle of incidence is normal to the jet surface, to optimize resonance absorption of laser radiation by the plasma electron density gradient. A 30-fold enhancement is observed in the X-ray yield in the nanoparticle suspension, compared to the precursor salt solution. This is because of the local field enhancement (LFE) associated with the localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) in Ag nanoparticles. Multiphoton ionization will be greatly enhanced in the presence of LFE, resulting in the generation of a relatively larger number of free electrons, which become hot electrons of high kinetic energy by resonance absorption. Bremsstrahlung in the X-ray regime occurs due to the deceleration of these hot electrons. Under identical excitation conditions the corresponding X-ray enhancement measured in Au nanoparticles is relatively lower at 18-fold. This decrease is due to the higher ionization potential of Au (9.22 eV) as compared to Ag (7.58 eV). On the other hand, absorption spectra and SEM images measured after continuous irradiation reveal that Au nanoparticles are more photostable compared to Ag nanoparticles. These studies show that Ag nanoparticles are better suited for X-ray generation compared to Au nanoparticles under the experimental conditions employed. Applications include dynamics studies, microscopy, and lithography. 2019
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