The interaction of an intense laser field with a beam of atomic ions has been investigated experimentally for the first time. The ionization dynamics of Ar+ ions and Ar neutrals in a 60 fs, 790 nm laser pulse have been compared and contrasted at intensities up to 1016 W cm-2. Our results show that nonsequential ionization from an Ar+ target is strongly suppressed compared with that from the corresponding neutral target. We have also observed for the first time the strong field ionization of high lying target metastable levels in the Ar+ beam.
- atomic ions
- laser pulses