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Title: Enhanced proton acceleration in an applied longitudinal magnetic field

Using two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations, we examine how an externally applied strong magnetic field impacts proton acceleration in laser-irradiated solid-density targets. We find that a kT-level external magnetic field can sufficiently inhibit transverse transport of hot electrons in a flat laser-irradiated target. While the electron heating by the laser remains mostly unaffected, the reduced electron transport during proton acceleration leads to an enhancement of maximum proton energies and the overall number of energetic protons. The resulting proton beam is much better collimated compared to a beam generated without applying a kT-level magnetic field. A factor of three enhancement of the laser energy conversion efficiency into multi-MeV protons is another effect of the magnetic field. The required kT-level magnetic fields are becoming feasible due to a significant progress that has been made in generating magnetic fields with laser-driven coils using ns-long laser pulses. The possibility of improving characteristics of laser-driven proton beams using such fields is a strong motivation for further development of laser-driven magnetic field capabilities.
Authors:
ORCiD logo [1] ;  [2] ;  [3]
  1. Univ. of Texas, Austin, TX (United States). Center for High Energy Density Science
  2. Univ. of Texas, Austin, TX (United States). Center for High Energy Density Science; Institute for Radiation Physics, Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf e.V., Dresden (Germany)
  3. Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
NA0002008
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
New Journal of Physics
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 18; Journal Issue: 10; Journal ID: ISSN 1367-2630
Publisher:
IOP Publishing
Research Org:
Univ. of Texas, Austin, TX (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
43 PARTICLE ACCELERATORS; proton acceleration; magnetic field; laser
OSTI Identifier:
1426149