Measurements of ion-induced nuclear reactions have been used to diagnose ion acceleration from the interaction of high-intensity (>1019 W cm-2) laser light with solid targets. Nuclear activation of catcher materials surrounding the interaction region has been studied using a high-resolution germanium detector. It was found that, when a 100 µm thick Al target foil was preheated, the proton flux produced from the laser-foil interaction was considerably reduced. Observed heavy-ion-induced reactions are used with calculated reaction cross sections to quantify ion acceleration.
McKenna, P., Ledingham, K. W. D., McCanny, T., Singhal, R. P., Spencer, I., Clark, E. L., Beg, F. N., Krushelnick, K., Wei, M. S., Galy, J., Magill, J., Clarke, R. J., Lancaster, K. L., Norreys, P. A., Spohr, K., & Chapman, R. (2003). Effect of target heating on ion-induced reactions in high-intensity laser-plasma interaction. Applied Physics Letters, 83(14), 2763-2765. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.1616972