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Proceedings Paper

Transverse instability in “light sail” ion acceleration and stable ion acceleration using a two-frequency laser tweezer (Conference Presentation)
Author(s): Yang Wan; Igor A. Andriyash; Wei Lu; Warren B. Mori; Chan Joshi; Victor Malka

Paper Abstract

For the past two decades, the interaction of ultra-intense lasers with nano-foils has been motivated by acceleration of proton/ions for radiobiological applications. Despite some progress, the realization of a stable high-charge narrow-energy-spread protons of hundreds MeV remains a challenge. One promising scheme is the “light sail” acceleration, where laser pressure directly pushes the whole target, providing a strong accelerating force. One major drawback of such scheme is that it will suffer significant transverse instabilities that can break up the target, but the underlying mechanism has still not been clarified. Here we present a theoretical model that clarifies the origin of this long-standing problem, and support it with 2/3D PIC simulations for a wide range of parameters. Based on this understanding, we propose a new concept of relativistically intense laser tweezer for stable ion acceleration. In this scheme, two counter-propagating lasers of different colors collide on a nano-foil. By dragging plasma electrons out of the foil, such a tweezer simply avoids the electron-ion coupled instability and at the same time produces a strong micro-capacitor with a nearly uniform strong electrostatic field. This field preferentially accelerates protons with a narrow energy spread from a hydrocarbon target, indicating a new route for future compact laser driven ion accelerator.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 May 2019
Proc. SPIE 11037, Laser Acceleration of Electrons, Protons, and Ions V, 1103705 (14 May 2019); doi: 10.1117/12.2520839
Show Author Affiliations
Yang Wan, Weizmann Institute of Science (Israel)
Igor A. Andriyash, Weizmann Institute of Science (Israel)
Wei Lu, Tsinghua Univ. (China)
Warren B. Mori, Univ. of California, Los Angeles (United States)
Chan Joshi, Univ. of California, Los Angeles (United States)
Victor Malka, Weizmann Institute of Science (Israel)

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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