Time- and space-resolved optical Stark spectroscopy in the afterglow of laser-produced tin-droplet plasma
The afterglow emission from Nd:YAG-laser-produced microdroplet-tin plasma is investigated , with focus on analyzing Stark effect phenomena and the dynamical evolution of the plasma. Time- and space-resolved optical imaging spectroscopy is performed on 11 lines from ions, in the 315–425,nm wavelength range. Stark shift-to-width ratios serve as the basis for unambiguous experimental tests of atomic physics theory predictions. Experiment and theory, where available, are found to be in poor agreement, and are in disagreement regarding the sign of the ratio in several cases. Spectroscopic measurements of the Stark widths in tandem with Saha-Boltzmann fits to Sn I and Sn II lines, establish the evolution of the local temperature and density of the plasma afterglow, 20 – 40,ns after the end of the 15,ns-long temporally box-shaped laser pulse. A clear cool-down from ∼ 2 to 1,eV is observed of the plasma in this time window, having started at ∼ 30,eV when emitting EUV light. An exponential reduction of density of the plasma from ∼1018 – 1017,e−,cm−3 is observed in this same time window. Our work is relevant for understanding the dynamics of the expanding plasma in state-of-the-art nanolithography machines.