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Title: Effects of dimensionality on kinetic simulations of laser-ion acceleration in the transparency regime

Abstract

A particle-in-cell study of laser-ion acceleration mechanisms in the transparency regime illustrates how two-dimensional (2D) S and P simulations (laser polarization in and out of the simulation plane, respectively) capture different physics characterizing these systems, visible in their entirety in often cost-prohibitive three-dimensional (3D) simulations. The electron momentum anisotropy induced in the target by the laser pulse is dramatically different in the two 2D cases, manifested in differences in target expansion timescales, electric field strengths, and density thresholds for the onset of relativistically induced transparency. In particular, 2D-P simulations exhibit dramatically greater electron heating in the simulation plane, whereas 2D-S ones show a much more isotropic energy distribution, similar to 3D. An ion trajectory analysis allows one to isolate the fields responsible for ion acceleration and to characterize the acceleration regimes in time and space. The artificial longitudinal electron heating in 2D-P exaggerates the effectiveness of target-normal sheath acceleration into its dominant acceleration mechanism throughout the laser-plasma interaction, whereas 2D-S and 3D both have sizable populations accelerated preferentially during transparency.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) Program
OSTI Identifier:
1364554
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1375641
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-17-22260
Journal ID: ISSN 1070-664X
Grant/Contract Number:
AC52-06NA25396
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physics of Plasmas
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 24; Journal Issue: 5; Journal ID: ISSN 1070-664X
Publisher:
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY

Citation Formats

Stark, David James, Yin, Lin, Albright, Brian James, and Guo, Fan. Effects of dimensionality on kinetic simulations of laser-ion acceleration in the transparency regime. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1063/1.4982741.
Stark, David James, Yin, Lin, Albright, Brian James, & Guo, Fan. Effects of dimensionality on kinetic simulations of laser-ion acceleration in the transparency regime. United States. doi:10.1063/1.4982741.
Stark, David James, Yin, Lin, Albright, Brian James, and Guo, Fan. Wed . "Effects of dimensionality on kinetic simulations of laser-ion acceleration in the transparency regime". United States. doi:10.1063/1.4982741. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1364554.
@article{osti_1364554,
title = {Effects of dimensionality on kinetic simulations of laser-ion acceleration in the transparency regime},
author = {Stark, David James and Yin, Lin and Albright, Brian James and Guo, Fan},
abstractNote = {A particle-in-cell study of laser-ion acceleration mechanisms in the transparency regime illustrates how two-dimensional (2D) S and P simulations (laser polarization in and out of the simulation plane, respectively) capture different physics characterizing these systems, visible in their entirety in often cost-prohibitive three-dimensional (3D) simulations. The electron momentum anisotropy induced in the target by the laser pulse is dramatically different in the two 2D cases, manifested in differences in target expansion timescales, electric field strengths, and density thresholds for the onset of relativistically induced transparency. In particular, 2D-P simulations exhibit dramatically greater electron heating in the simulation plane, whereas 2D-S ones show a much more isotropic energy distribution, similar to 3D. An ion trajectory analysis allows one to isolate the fields responsible for ion acceleration and to characterize the acceleration regimes in time and space. The artificial longitudinal electron heating in 2D-P exaggerates the effectiveness of target-normal sheath acceleration into its dominant acceleration mechanism throughout the laser-plasma interaction, whereas 2D-S and 3D both have sizable populations accelerated preferentially during transparency.},
doi = {10.1063/1.4982741},
journal = {Physics of Plasmas},
number = 5,
volume = 24,
place = {United States},
year = {Wed May 03 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Wed May 03 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}

Journal Article:
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Cited by: 2works
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  • Cited by 2
  • Here we present an experimental study investigating laser-driven proton acceleration via target normal sheath acceleration (TNSA) over a target thickness range spanning the typical TNSA-dominant regime (~1 μm) down to below the onset of relativistic laser-transparency (<40 nm). This is done with a single target material in the form of freely adjustable films of liquid crystals along with high contrast (via plasma mirror) laser interaction (~2.65 J, 30 fs, I>1 x 10 21 W cm -2). Thickness dependent maximum proton energies scale well with TNSA models down to the thinnest targets, while those under ~40 nm indicate the influence ofmore » relativistic transparency on TNSA, observed via differences in light transmission, maximum proton energy, and proton beam spatial profile. Oblique laser incidence (45°) allowed the fielding of numerous diagnostics to determine the interaction quality and details: ion energy and spatial distribution was measured along the laser axis and both front and rear target normal directions; these along with reflected and transmitted light measurements on-shot verify TNSA as dominant during high contrast interaction, even for ultra-thin targets. Additionally, 3D particle-in-cell simulations qualitatively support the experimental observations of target-normal-directed proton acceleration from ultra-thin films.« less
  • Here we present an experimental study investigating laser-driven proton acceleration via target normal sheath acceleration (TNSA) over a target thickness range spanning the typical TNSA-dominant regime (~1 μm) down to below the onset of relativistic laser-transparency (<40 nm). This is done with a single target material in the form of freely adjustable films of liquid crystals along with high contrast (via plasma mirror) laser interaction (~2.65 J, 30 fs, I>1 x 10 21 W cm -2). Thickness dependent maximum proton energies scale well with TNSA models down to the thinnest targets, while those under ~40 nm indicate the influence ofmore » relativistic transparency on TNSA, observed via differences in light transmission, maximum proton energy, and proton beam spatial profile. Oblique laser incidence (45°) allowed the fielding of numerous diagnostics to determine the interaction quality and details: ion energy and spatial distribution was measured along the laser axis and both front and rear target normal directions; these along with reflected and transmitted light measurements on-shot verify TNSA as dominant during high contrast interaction, even for ultra-thin targets. Additionally, 3D particle-in-cell simulations qualitatively support the experimental observations of target-normal-directed proton acceleration from ultra-thin films.« less
    Cited by 2
  • Laser-accelerated ion sources open new opportunities for ion beam generation and control, and could stimulate development of compact ion accelerators for many applications. The mechanisms of proton acceleration with solid targets have been intensively studied over the past years, and new target or laser setups are now needed to obtain even higher maximum proton energies. PIC simulations have shown that using ultra thin targets, the maximum proton energy can be greatly increased. The laser can pass through the target and heat target electrons more efficiently. Experiments were conducted to test the feasibility of ultra thin targets laser interaction. PIC simulationsmore » were performed and successfully compared to the experimental results. Recently, experiments have shown that a gaseous target can produce proton beams with characteristics comparable to those obtained with solid targets. PIC simulations were also used to study proton acceleration with an underdense target. The optimum thickness obtained corresponds to the thickness where the laser absorption and transmission are equal, and depends greatly on laser and target parameters. The plasma hot electron temperature has also been found to depend on both laser and target parameters. We developed a simple model for the scaling of the optimum thickness for proton acceleration on target and laser parameters.« less