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Calibrated thermoluminescence dosimeters have been used to measure the angular and spectral dependence of hard x‐ray emission produced from intense subpicosecond laser irradiation of solid targets. A dosimeter detector set with nine filter channels (13.5–400 keV) has been tested successfully. Total bremsstrahlung conversion up to 0.23% and conversion of 8×10-5 from laser energy to Ta Kα line emission (photon energy ≊57 keV) was determined. The scaling of the hard x‐ray yield with laser intensities ranging from 3×1016 to 3×1018 W/cm2 was investigated. © 1996 American Institute of Physics.