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Proceedings Paper

Comparison of ion acceleration from nonexpanded and expanded thin foils irradiated by ultrashort petawatt laser pulse
Author(s): J. Psikal; V. Horny; M. Zakova; M. Matys
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Paper Abstract

It is usually assumed that ions are accelerated most efficiently in the case of non-expanded targets irradiated by femtosecond ultra-intense laser pulse, alternatively with only short scale preplasma on their front side. Here, we demonstrate that the ions in an expanded foil with near-critical density plasma before its interaction with the main petawatt pulse may be accelerated to higher energies than that from ultra-thin foils. In order to investigate the mechanisms responsible for the acceleration of the most energetic ions, we used particle tracking in particle-in-cell simulations. It is demonstrated that high-energy ions originate from a small region of the depth below 1 μm and the width about the laser focal spot size (3 - 4 μm) in the case of semi-expanded target (with gradually increasing density up to the maximum density from the front side) and of a thin foil. On the other hand, the length of this region exceeds 5 μm for the expanded target. When the laser pulse propagates through near-critical density targets, a high density electron bunch is formed and travels with the laser pulse behind the target. Behind this electron bunch, a relatively long longitudinal electric field is generated and this field accelerates ions. Longitudinal electric field can be also generated due to expanding transverse magnetic field, which is observed for the expanded target.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 April 2019
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 11037, Laser Acceleration of Electrons, Protons, and Ions V, 1103708 (24 April 2019); doi: 10.1117/12.2520278
Show Author Affiliations
J. Psikal, Czech Technical Univ. in Prague (Czech Republic)
ELI-Beamlines (Czech Republic)
V. Horny, Institute of Plasma Physics of the CAS, v.v.i. (Czech Republic)
M. Zakova, Czech Technical Univ. in Prague (Czech Republic)
ELI-Beamlines (Czech Republic)
M. Matys, Czech Technical Univ. in Prague (Czech Republic)
ELI Beamlines (Czech Republic)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 11037:
Laser Acceleration of Electrons, Protons, and Ions V
Eric Esarey; Carl B. Schroeder; Jörg Schreiber, Editor(s)

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