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Proceedings Paper

Proton- and x-ray beams generated by ultra-fast CO[sub]2[/sub] lasers for medical applications
Author(s): Igor Pogorelsky; Mikhail Polyanskiy; Vitaly Yakimenko; Ilan Ben-Zvi; Peter Shkolnikov; Zulfikar Najmudin; Charlotte A. J. Palmer; Nicholas P. Dover; Piernicola Oliva; Massimo Carpinelli
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Paper Abstract

Recent progress in using picosecond CO2 lasers for Thomson scattering and ion-acceleration experiments underlines their potentials for enabling secondary radiation- and particle- sources. These experiments capitalize on certain advantages of long-wavelength CO2 lasers, such as higher number of photons per energy unit, and favorable scaling of the electrons' ponderomotive energy and critical plasma density. The high-flux x-ray bursts produced by Thomson scattering of the CO2 laser off a counter-propagating electron beam enabled high-contrast, time-resolved imaging of biological objects in the picosecond time frame. In different experiments, the laser, focused on a hydrogen jet, generated monoenergetic proton beams via the radiation-pressure mechanism. The strong power-scaling of this regime promises realization of proton beams suitable for laser-driven proton cancer therapy after upgrading the CO2 laser to sub-PW peak power. This planned improvement includes optimizing the 10-μm ultra-short pulse generation, assuring higher amplification in the CO2 gas under combined isotopic- and power-broadening effects, and shortening the postamplification pulse to a few laser cycles (150-200 fs) via chirping and compression. These developments will move us closer to practical applications of ultra-fast CO2 lasers in medicine and other areas.

Paper Details

Date Published: 25 May 2011
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 8079, Laser Acceleration of Electrons, Protons, and Ions; and Medical Applications of Laser-Generated Secondary Sources of Radiation and Particles, 80791L (25 May 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.889113
Show Author Affiliations
Igor Pogorelsky, Brookhaven National Lab. (United States)
Mikhail Polyanskiy, Brookhaven National Lab. (United States)
Vitaly Yakimenko, Brookhaven National Lab. (United States)
Ilan Ben-Zvi, Brookhaven National Lab. (United States)
Peter Shkolnikov, State Univ. of New York, Stony Brook (United States)
Zulfikar Najmudin, Imperial College London (United Kingdom)
Charlotte A. J. Palmer, Imperial College London (United Kingdom)
Nicholas P. Dover, Imperial College London (United Kingdom)
Piernicola Oliva, Univ. degli Studi di Sassari (Italy)
Massimo Carpinelli, Univ. degli Studi di Sassari (Italy)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8079:
Laser Acceleration of Electrons, Protons, and Ions; and Medical Applications of Laser-Generated Secondary Sources of Radiation and Particles
Wim P. Leemans; Kenneth W. D. Ledingham; Eric Esarey; Simon M. Hooker, Editor(s)

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