We will give an update on the current developments on our target positioning system for levitating, isolated micro spheres. The Paul trap system is specifically designed to ensure functionality at high-power laser systems. Active damping enables reliable overlap of the micrometer-sized target with the micrometer-sized laser focus.
The complete target system can now be fully remote controlled. These improvements enabled repetition rates of the order of one shot every 10-15 minutes, mainly limited by the time required for inserting and retracting the microscope for imaging target and laser focal spot.
We recently performed experiments at the ZEUS laser at the Centre for Advanced Laser Applications, a 5 TW Ti:Sa laser system, for laser plasma expansion studies at intensities of 10¹⁶ W/cm². These studies were prerequisites for experiments at the JETi 200 laser at the Helmholtz Institute in Jena, where plasma expansion was initiated by a similarly strong, artificially introduced pre-pulse for studying the effect on ion acceleration from microscopic spherical targets at reduced density.