XUV interaction and warm dense matter at QUB

Lead Research Organisation: Queen's University of Belfast
Department Name: Sch of Mathematics and Physics


The interaction of XUV photons with matter is an important sub area of warm dense matter studies of key interest in astrophysical plasmas, planetary sciences and fusion sciences. It is also of key interest in advanced lithography methods that will use ~13.5nm XUV photons for processing of next generation electronics. We propose to carry out a study of the interaction of XUV radiation with matter including warm dense matter, with experiments on collisional absorption, ablation with XUV radiation and creation of novel states of matter. We will base the work in large measure at the TARANIS laser facility at QUB but will also use our access to external facilities such as the new XUV and X-ray free electron lasers as well as larger laser facilities.In the proposal our discussion of previous work is centred around TARANIS as this is most relevant and illustrates the potential of the system. In the discussion of experiments, we concentrate on details of a couple of particular experiments that will take a long time to perform and set up as this illustrates the type of complex experiment we will be able to field.

Planned Impact

For some of the research we propose the understanding gained will be relatively fundamental in nature and the industrial/technological consequences are not easy to see especially in the short to medium term. The interaction of XUV radiation with warm dense matter is of relevance to the fuel and ablator of an intertial confinement fusion target and in this respect there may be technological consequences, if we can ascertain more information in the effective collisional absorption coefficient. However, for the ablation side of the work there is a more obvious link to future applications. There is a strong move in industry and academioc research to develop XUV lithography techniques for future generations of electronics. This is because in principle the features created can be smaller- being limited by wavelength. To this end there has been a lot of work in developing XUV sources in the ~13.5nm regime. It can be said that the interaction of XUV radiation with matter is of consequence, since there is substantial work ongoing regarding the use of XUV radiation for advanced lithography. To this end the work on XUV ablation is relevant
Description We found agreement in soft-xray (XUV) opacity for warm dense Al with teh model of Iglesias but not Vinko. However the data set was limited by technical issues.
Exploitation Route We are currently seeking further funding as we understand more about how to do this experiment and overcome several technical obstacles.
Sectors Electronics,Other

Description So far the data has been used to understand better how intense XUV beams interact with solids. The latest experiments in particular have resolved to a large extent the disagreement in the literature between rival calculations of the absorption of XUV radiation by warm dense matter. We have agreed with Iglesias that on heating Al to 1eV temperature at solid density there is little or no change in the absorption coefficient. This work has been published in Physical Review E and further data is under analysis.
First Year Of Impact 2015
Sector Education,Other
Impact Types Cultural,Societal

Description EPSRC
Amount £582,518 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/N009487/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2016 
End 08/2019