Plasma conditions for improved energy coupling into the gain region of the Ni-like Pd transient collisional x-ray laser
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We have directly probed the conditions in which the Ni-like Pd transient collisional x-ray laser is generated and propagates by measuring the near-field image and by utilizing picosecond resolution soft x-ray laser interferometry of the preformed Pd plasma gain medium. The electron density and gain region of the plasma have been determined experimentally and are found to be in good agreement with simulations. We observe a strong dependence of the laser pump-gain medium coupling on the laser pump parameters. The most efficient coupling occurs with the formation of lower density gradients in the ...