Heavy ion acceleration in the radiation pressure acceleration and breakout afterburner regimes

Petrov, G. M. and McGuffey, C. and Thomas, A. G. R. and Krushelnick, K. and Beg, F. N. (2017) Heavy ion acceleration in the radiation pressure acceleration and breakout afterburner regimes. Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion, 59 (7): 075003. ISSN 0741-3335

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We present a theoretical study of heavy ion acceleration from ultrathin (20 nm) gold foil irradiated by high-intensity sub-picosecond lasers. Using two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations, three laser systems are modeled that cover the range between femtosecond and picosecond pulses. By varying the laser pulse duration we observe a transition from radiation pressure acceleration (RPA) to the relativistic induced transparency (RIT) regime for heavy ions akin to light ions. The underlying physics of beam formation and acceleration is similar for light and heavy ions, however, nuances of the acceleration process make the heavy ions more challenging. A more detailed study involving variation of peak laser intensity I-0 and pulse duration tau(FWHM) revealed that the transition point from RPA to RIT regime depends on the peak laser intensity on target and occurs for pulse duration tau(RPA -> RIT)(FWHM) [fs] congruent to 210/root I-0 [W cm (2)]/10(21) The most abundant gold ion and charge-to-mass ratio are Au51+ and q/M approximate to 1/4, respectively, half that of light ions. For ultrathin foils, on the order of one skin depth, we established a linear scaling of the maximum energy per nucleon (E/M)(max) with (q/M)(max), which is more favorable than the quadratic one found previously. The numerical simulations predict heavy ion beams with very attractive properties for applications: high directionality (10(11) ions sr(-1)) and energy (>20 MeV/nucleon) from laser systems delivering >20 J of energy on target.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion
Additional Information:
This is an author-created, un-copyedited version of an article accepted for publication/published in Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion. IOP Publishing Ltd is not responsible for any errors or omissions in this version of the manuscript or any version derived from it. The Version of Record is available online at doi: 10.1088/1361-6587/aa6f30
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? particle-in-cellshort pulse lasersion accelerationlaser-plasma interactionsin-cell simulationsproton generationdrivenbeamsenergynuclear energy and engineeringcondensed matter physics ??
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Deposited On:
24 Nov 2017 02:00
Last Modified:
22 May 2024 00:43