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Novel plasma diagnostics for light-matter interactions

A main objective of the programme is to develop and implement a novel integrated plasma diagnostics tool by combining nN force measurements with high speed pulsed digital holography, laser-induced fluorescence and volumetric ion current analysis within a thermal vacuum chamber. The proposed system will be used to increase our understanding of new and existing energy transfer mechanisms where plasmas are concerned e.g. studying phenomena in laser-matter interactions.


Nadeem Gabbani


Dr Krste Pangovski


Professor Bill O'Neill


The qualitative and quantitative results produced by a light-matter interaction are determined by the properties of the source, material and mechanisms by which they interact. To achieve a desired result, we must define and control as many parameters as possible so that optimisation can occur. Due to limitations in source technology, combined spatial, temporal and polarisation pulse shaping has yet to be realised, and due to limitations in the understanding of light‑matter interactions, material specific responses have yet to be sufficiently characterised, and as a result, applications must still be designed around the laser and empirically assessed for suitability, rather than the contrary. Many fields depend on this knowledge as it forms the basis of fundamental processes, spanning from laser fabrication to spacecraft propulsion and fusion research.


Research Question

Can time resolved measurements of light-matter interactions be used to define and control a process to produce a desired result?

Can we optimise the material removal rate of a manufacturing process or increase the propulsive efficiency of a material by manipulating the temporal, spatial and polar profile and assessing the materials dynamic response? If so, can we relate the temporal, spatial and polar profiles to a create design framework for pulses?



A novel, integrated plasma diagnostics tool which combines high‑speed pulsed digital holography with torsion balance for force, impulse, shock and mass loss measurements, laser spectroscopy and a suite of electrostatic probes capable of operating within high vacuum.


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