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Title: Energetic protons generated by ultrahigh contrast laser pulses interacting with ultrathin targets

Abstract

A regime of laser acceleration of protons, which relies on the interaction of ultrahigh contrast laser pulses with ultrathin targets, has been validated using experiments and simulations. Proton beams were accelerated to a maximum energy of {approx}7.3 MeV from targets as thin as 30 nm irradiated at 10{sup 18} W cm{sup -2} {mu}m{sup 2} (1 J, 320 fs) with an estimated peak laser pulse to pedestal intensity contrast ratio of 10{sup 11}. This represents nearly a tenfold increase in proton energy compared to the highest energies obtainable using non contrast enhanced pulses and thicker targets (>5 {mu}m) at the same intensity. To obtain similar proton energy with thicker targets and the same laser pulse duration, a much higher laser intensity (i.e., above 10{sup 19} W cm{sup -2} {mu}m{sup 2}) is required. The simulations are in close agreement with the experimental results, showing efficient electron heating compared to the case of thicker targets. Rapid target expansion, allowing laser absorption in density gradients, is key to enhanced electron heating and ion acceleration in ultrathin targets.

Authors:
 [1];  [2]; ; ; ;  [1];  [3];  [4];  [5]; ;  [6]; ;  [7]; ;  [8];  [9]
  1. LULI, Ecole Polytechnique, CNRS, CEA, UPMC, route de Saclay, 91128 Palaiseau (France)
  2. (Italy)
  3. LULI, Ecole Polytechnique, CNRS, CEA, UPMC, route de Saclay, 91128 Palaiseau (France) and Physics Department, MS-220, University of Nevada, Reno, Nevada 89557 (United States)
  4. (France)
  5. Departement de Physique Theorique et Appliquee, CEA-DIF, 91680 Bruyeres-le-Chatel (France)
  6. School of Mathematics and Physics, The Queen's University, Belfast (United Kingdom)
  7. Physics Department, MS-220, University of Nevada, Reno, Nevada 89557 (United States)
  8. Institut fuer Laser und Plasma Physik, Heinrich-Heine-Universitaet Duesseldorf, Universitaetstrasse 1, 40225 Duesseldorf (Germany)
  9. INRS-Energie et Materiaux, 1650 bd. L. Boulet, J3X1S2 Varennes, Quebec (Canada)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
20974861
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physics of Plasmas; Journal Volume: 14; Journal Issue: 3; Other Information: DOI: 10.1063/1.2480610; (c) 2007 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; ABSORPTION; ACCELERATION; ELECTRONS; LASERS; LIGHT TRANSMISSION; MEV RANGE 01-10; PLASMA DENSITY; PLASMA HEATING; PROTON BEAMS; PROTONS; PULSES

Citation Formats

Antici, P., Dipartimento di Energetica, Universita di Roma 'La Sapienza', Via Scarpa 14-16, 00165 Rome, Fuchs, J., Brambrink, E., Romagnani, L., Audebert, P., D'Humieres, E., Departement de Physique Theorique et Appliquee, CEA-DIF, 91680 Bruyeres-le-Chatel, Lefebvre, E., Borghesi, M., Cecchetti, C. A., Gaillard, S., Sentoku, Y., Toncian, T., Willi, O., and Pepin, H.. Energetic protons generated by ultrahigh contrast laser pulses interacting with ultrathin targets. United States: N. p., 2007. Web. doi:10.1063/1.2480610.
Antici, P., Dipartimento di Energetica, Universita di Roma 'La Sapienza', Via Scarpa 14-16, 00165 Rome, Fuchs, J., Brambrink, E., Romagnani, L., Audebert, P., D'Humieres, E., Departement de Physique Theorique et Appliquee, CEA-DIF, 91680 Bruyeres-le-Chatel, Lefebvre, E., Borghesi, M., Cecchetti, C. A., Gaillard, S., Sentoku, Y., Toncian, T., Willi, O., & Pepin, H.. Energetic protons generated by ultrahigh contrast laser pulses interacting with ultrathin targets. United States. doi:10.1063/1.2480610.
Antici, P., Dipartimento di Energetica, Universita di Roma 'La Sapienza', Via Scarpa 14-16, 00165 Rome, Fuchs, J., Brambrink, E., Romagnani, L., Audebert, P., D'Humieres, E., Departement de Physique Theorique et Appliquee, CEA-DIF, 91680 Bruyeres-le-Chatel, Lefebvre, E., Borghesi, M., Cecchetti, C. A., Gaillard, S., Sentoku, Y., Toncian, T., Willi, O., and Pepin, H.. Thu . "Energetic protons generated by ultrahigh contrast laser pulses interacting with ultrathin targets". United States. doi:10.1063/1.2480610.
@article{osti_20974861,
title = {Energetic protons generated by ultrahigh contrast laser pulses interacting with ultrathin targets},
author = {Antici, P. and Dipartimento di Energetica, Universita di Roma 'La Sapienza', Via Scarpa 14-16, 00165 Rome and Fuchs, J. and Brambrink, E. and Romagnani, L. and Audebert, P. and D'Humieres, E. and Departement de Physique Theorique et Appliquee, CEA-DIF, 91680 Bruyeres-le-Chatel and Lefebvre, E. and Borghesi, M. and Cecchetti, C. A. and Gaillard, S. and Sentoku, Y. and Toncian, T. and Willi, O. and Pepin, H.},
abstractNote = {A regime of laser acceleration of protons, which relies on the interaction of ultrahigh contrast laser pulses with ultrathin targets, has been validated using experiments and simulations. Proton beams were accelerated to a maximum energy of {approx}7.3 MeV from targets as thin as 30 nm irradiated at 10{sup 18} W cm{sup -2} {mu}m{sup 2} (1 J, 320 fs) with an estimated peak laser pulse to pedestal intensity contrast ratio of 10{sup 11}. This represents nearly a tenfold increase in proton energy compared to the highest energies obtainable using non contrast enhanced pulses and thicker targets (>5 {mu}m) at the same intensity. To obtain similar proton energy with thicker targets and the same laser pulse duration, a much higher laser intensity (i.e., above 10{sup 19} W cm{sup -2} {mu}m{sup 2}) is required. The simulations are in close agreement with the experimental results, showing efficient electron heating compared to the case of thicker targets. Rapid target expansion, allowing laser absorption in density gradients, is key to enhanced electron heating and ion acceleration in ultrathin targets.},
doi = {10.1063/1.2480610},
journal = {Physics of Plasmas},
number = 3,
volume = 14,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu Mar 15 00:00:00 EDT 2007},
month = {Thu Mar 15 00:00:00 EDT 2007}
}