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Title: High efficiency proton beam generation through target thickness control in femtosecond laser-plasma interactions

Bright proton beams with maximum energies of up to 30 MeV have been observed in an experiment investigating ion sheath acceleration driven by a short pulse (<50 fs) laser. The scaling of maximum proton energy and total beam energy content at ultra-high intensities of ∼10{sup 21} W cm{sup −2} was investigated, with the interplay between target thickness and laser pre-pulse found to be a key factor. While the maximum proton energies observed were maximised for μm-thick targets, the total proton energy content was seen to peak for thinner, 500 nm, foils. The total proton beam energy reached up to 440 mJ (a conversion efficiency of 4%), marking a significant step forward for many laser-driven ion applications. The experimental results are supported by hydrodynamic and particle-in-cell simulations.
Authors:
; ; ; ; ;  [1] ;  [2] ; ; ;  [3] ;  [4]
  1. Central Laser Facility, STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Chilton, Oxon OX11 0QX (United Kingdom)
  2. York Plasma Institute, Department of Physics, University of York, York YO10 5DD (United Kingdom)
  3. SUPA, Department of Physics, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow G4 0NG (United Kingdom)
  4. SUPA, University of Edinburgh, Mayfield Road, Edinburgh EH9 3JZ (United Kingdom)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22300171
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Applied Physics Letters; Journal Volume: 104; Journal Issue: 21; Other Information: (c) 2014 Author(s); Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; ACCELERATION; EFFICIENCY; FOILS; GRAY ENERGY; INTERACTIONS; IONS; LASER RADIATION; LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT; MEV RANGE 10-100; PLASMA; PROTON BEAMS; PULSES; SCALING; SIMULATION; THICKNESS