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Proceedings Paper

Ablation cleaning techniques for high-power short-pulse laser produced heavy ion targets
Author(s): Kirk A. Flippo; B. Manuel Hegelich; Mark J. Schmitt; D. Cort Gauthier; Chad A. Meserole; Gregory L. Fisher; James A. Cobble; Randall A. Johnson; Samuel A. Letzring; Juan C. Fernández; Marius Schollmeier; Jörg Schreiber
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Paper Abstract

It has become apparent in the last few years that the light ion surface contamination on short-pulse laser targets is a major impediment to the acceleration of heavier target ions. Mitigation strategies have been tested in experiments at the Los Alamos Trident Laser facility using one arm of the Trident laser at 150 ps to ablatively clean a large area of heated targets in a single short that are subsequently irradiated by the Trident 30 TW short-pulse arm to accelerate the bulk target ions to high energies. This process was used on targets consisting of 15 microns of vanadium. The 150 ps pulse rids the rear of the target of its omnipresent surface contamination layer, consisting mainly of water vapor and hydrocarbons, and allows the Trident 30 TW short-pulse arm to illuminate the target and accelerate ions via the Target Normal Sheath Acceleration (TNSA) mechanism. Because this mechanism relies on a laser generated electrostatic sheath, the ions with the lightest charge to mass ratio (i.e. protons) would be accelerated preferentially at the expense of heavier ions. However with the contamination layer removed, and hence the bulk of the available protons, the TNSA mechanism is able to accelerate the bulk material ions to high energies. Our experimental results are discussed and compared to the LASNEX rad-hydro code to validate and improve our predictive capabilities for future acceleration experiments.

Paper Details

Date Published: 7 June 2006
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 6261, High-Power Laser Ablation VI, 62612I (7 June 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.673355
Show Author Affiliations
Kirk A. Flippo, Los Alamos National Lab. (United States)
B. Manuel Hegelich, Los Alamos National Lab. (United States)
Mark J. Schmitt, Los Alamos National Lab. (United States)
D. Cort Gauthier, Los Alamos National Lab. (United States)
Chad A. Meserole, Los Alamos National Lab. (United States)
Gregory L. Fisher, Los Alamos National Lab. (United States)
James A. Cobble, Los Alamos National Lab. (United States)
Randall A. Johnson, Los Alamos National Lab. (United States)
Samuel A. Letzring, Los Alamos National Lab. (United States)
Juan C. Fernández, Los Alamos National Lab. (United States)
Marius Schollmeier, Darmstadt Univ. of Technology (Germany)
Jörg Schreiber, Ludwig-Maximilians-Univ. München (Germany)
Max-Planck-Institut für Quantenoptik (Germany)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6261:
High-Power Laser Ablation VI
Claude R. Phipps, Editor(s)

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