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Title: Laser Acceleration of Ultrashort Ion Bunches and Femtosecond Neutron Sources

Abstract

We have theoretically investigated the acceleration of ions in the interaction of high intensity, circularly polarized laser pulses with overdense plasmas. By using 1D and 2D particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations we find that high-density, short duration ion bunches moving into the plasma are promptly generated at the laser-plasma interaction surface. This regime is qualitatively different from ion acceleration regimes driven by fast electrons, such as sheath acceleration at the back of the target or shock acceleration at the front, which occur for linear polarization. A simple analytical model accounts for the numerical observations and provides scaling laws for the ion bunch velocity and generation time as a function of pulse intensity and plasma density. The present mechanism based on circular polarization of the laser pulse leads to moderate ion energies (in the 100 keV-1 MeV range) but very high ion densities and low beam divergence. These ion bunches might be of interest for problems of compression and acceleration of high-density matter by short pulses as well as for the development of compact neutron sources. We analyzed a scheme based on two-side irradiation of a thin foil deuterated target, where two colliding ion bunches are produced leading to an ultrashort neutron burst.more » We evaluated that, for intensities of a few 1019 W cm-2, more than 103 neutrons per Joule may be produced within a time shorter than one femtosecond. Another scheme based on a layered deuterium-tritium target is outlined.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3];  [2];  [4];  [2]
  1. polyLAB, CNR-INFM, Universita di Pisa (Italy)
  2. Dipartimento di Fisica 'E. Fermi', Universita di Pisa (Italy)
  3. (Sweden)
  4. (Germany)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
20798465
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: AIP Conference Proceedings; Journal Volume: 827; Journal Issue: 1; Conference: 3. international conference on superstrong fields in plasmas, Varenna (Italy), 19-24 Sep 2005; Other Information: DOI: 10.1063/1.2195213; (c) 2006 American Institute of Physics; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; ACCELERATION; BEAM BUNCHING; DEUTERIUM; ELECTRONS; ION BEAMS; ION DENSITY; IONS; KEV RANGE; LASERS; MEV RANGE; NEUTRON SOURCES; NEUTRONS; PARTICLE BEAMS; PLASMA; PLASMA DENSITY; PLASMA HEATING; PLASMA SIMULATION; POLARIZATION; PULSES; SCALING LAWS; TRITIUM TARGET

Citation Formats

Macchi, A., Cattani, F., Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Liseykina, T. V., Ruhr Universitaet, Bochum, and Cornolti, F. Laser Acceleration of Ultrashort Ion Bunches and Femtosecond Neutron Sources. United States: N. p., 2006. Web. doi:10.1063/1.2195213.
Macchi, A., Cattani, F., Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Liseykina, T. V., Ruhr Universitaet, Bochum, & Cornolti, F. Laser Acceleration of Ultrashort Ion Bunches and Femtosecond Neutron Sources. United States. doi:10.1063/1.2195213.
Macchi, A., Cattani, F., Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Liseykina, T. V., Ruhr Universitaet, Bochum, and Cornolti, F. Fri . "Laser Acceleration of Ultrashort Ion Bunches and Femtosecond Neutron Sources". United States. doi:10.1063/1.2195213.
@article{osti_20798465,
title = {Laser Acceleration of Ultrashort Ion Bunches and Femtosecond Neutron Sources},
author = {Macchi, A. and Cattani, F. and Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg and Liseykina, T. V. and Ruhr Universitaet, Bochum and Cornolti, F.},
abstractNote = {We have theoretically investigated the acceleration of ions in the interaction of high intensity, circularly polarized laser pulses with overdense plasmas. By using 1D and 2D particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations we find that high-density, short duration ion bunches moving into the plasma are promptly generated at the laser-plasma interaction surface. This regime is qualitatively different from ion acceleration regimes driven by fast electrons, such as sheath acceleration at the back of the target or shock acceleration at the front, which occur for linear polarization. A simple analytical model accounts for the numerical observations and provides scaling laws for the ion bunch velocity and generation time as a function of pulse intensity and plasma density. The present mechanism based on circular polarization of the laser pulse leads to moderate ion energies (in the 100 keV-1 MeV range) but very high ion densities and low beam divergence. These ion bunches might be of interest for problems of compression and acceleration of high-density matter by short pulses as well as for the development of compact neutron sources. We analyzed a scheme based on two-side irradiation of a thin foil deuterated target, where two colliding ion bunches are produced leading to an ultrashort neutron burst. We evaluated that, for intensities of a few 1019 W cm-2, more than 103 neutrons per Joule may be produced within a time shorter than one femtosecond. Another scheme based on a layered deuterium-tritium target is outlined.},
doi = {10.1063/1.2195213},
journal = {AIP Conference Proceedings},
number = 1,
volume = 827,
place = {United States},
year = {Fri Apr 07 00:00:00 EDT 2006},
month = {Fri Apr 07 00:00:00 EDT 2006}
}