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Title: Optimization of the combined proton acceleration regime with a target composition scheme

A target composition scheme to optimize the combined proton acceleration regime is presented and verified by two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations by using an ultra-intense circularly polarized (CP) laser pulse irradiating an overdense hydrocarbon (CH) target, instead of a pure hydrogen (H) one. The combined acceleration regime is a two-stage proton acceleration scheme combining the radiation pressure dominated acceleration (RPDA) stage and the laser wakefield acceleration (LWFA) stage sequentially together. Protons get pre-accelerated in the first stage when an ultra-intense CP laser pulse irradiating an overdense CH target. The wakefield is driven by the laser pulse after penetrating through the overdense CH target and propagating in the underdense tritium plasma gas. With the pre-accelerate stage, protons can now get trapped in the wakefield and accelerated to much higher energy by LWFA. Finally, protons with higher energies (from about 20 GeV up to about 30 GeV) and lower energy spreads (from about 18% down to about 5% in full-width at half-maximum, or FWHM) are generated, as compared to the use of a pure H target. It is because protons can be more stably pre-accelerated in the first RPDA stage when using CH targets. With the increase of the carbon-to-hydrogen density ratio, the energy spread ismore » lower and the maximum proton energy is higher. It also shows that for the same laser intensity around 10{sup 22} W cm{sup −2}, using the CH target will lead to a higher proton energy, as compared to the use of a pure H target. Additionally, proton energy can be further increased by employing a longitudinally negative gradient of a background plasma density.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ; ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. Center for Applied Physics and Technology, HEDPS, State Key Laboratory of Nuclear Physics and Technology, and School of Physics, Peking University, Beijing 100871 (China)
  2. (China)
  3. Institute of Applied Physics and Computational Mathematics, Beijing 100088 (China)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22493841
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physics of Plasmas; Journal Volume: 23; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: (c) 2016 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; ACCELERATION; CARBON; COMPUTERIZED SIMULATION; GEV RANGE; HYDROCARBONS; HYDROGEN; LASER TARGETS; LASERS; OPTIMIZATION; PLASMA DENSITY; PROTONS; PULSES; RADIATION PRESSURE; TRAPPING; TRITIUM; TWO-DIMENSIONAL CALCULATIONS; WAKEFIELD ACCELERATORS