Publications Repository - Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf

1 Publication

Theoretical Understanding of Enhanced Proton Energies from Laser-Cone Interactions

Kluge, T.; Gaillard, S. A.; Bussmann, M.; Flippo, K. A.; Burris-Mog, T.; Gall, B.; Geissel, M.; Kraft, S. D.; Lockard, T.; Metzkes, J.; Offermann, D. T.; Rassuchine, J.; Schollmeier, M.; Schramm, U.; Sentoku, Y.; Zeil, K.; Cowan, T. E.


For the past ten years, the highest proton energies accelerated with high-intensity lasers was 58 MeV, observed in 2000 at the LLNL NOVA Petawatt laser, using flat foil targets. Recently, 67.5 MeV protons were observed in experiments at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) Trident laser, using one-fifth of the PW laser pulse energy, incident into novel conical targets. We present a focused study of new theoretical understanding of this measured enhancement from collisional Particle-in-Cell simulations, which shows that the hot electron temperature, number and maximum energy, responsible for the Target Normal Sheath Acceleration (TNSA) at the cone-top, are significantly increased when the laser grazes the cone wall. This is mainly due to the extraction of electrons from the cone wall by the laser electric field, and their boost in the forward direction by the v×B term of the Lorentz force. This result is in contrast to previous predictions of optical collection and wall-guiding of electrons in angled cones. This new wall-grazing mechanism offers the prospect to linearly increase the hot electron temperature, and thereby the TNSA proton energy, by extending the length over which the laser interacts in a grazing fashion in suitably optimized targets. This may allow achieving much higher proton energies for interesting future applications, with smaller, lower energy laser systems that allow for a high repetition rate.

Keywords: laser; proton; ion; acceleration; flat top cone; maximum energy

  • Contribution to proceedings
    Advanced Accelerator Concepts Workshop, 13.-19,06,2010, Annaplolis, USA
    1299: AIP Conference Proceedings, 715


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