Efficient ion acceleration and dense electron-positron plasma creation in ultra-high intensity laser-solid interactions

D Del Sorbo, D R Blackman, R Capdessus, K Small, C Slade-Lowther, W Lou, M J Duff, A P L Robinson, P McKenna, Z-M Sheng, J Pasley, C P Ridgers

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The radiation pressure of next generation ultra-high intensity ( > 1023 W/cm2 ) lasers could efficiently accelerate ions to GeV energies. However, nonlinear quantum-electrodynamic effects play an important role in the interaction of these laser pulses with matter. Here we show that these effects may lead to the production of an ex- tremely dense (∼1024 cm−3) pair-plasma which absorbs the laser pulse consequently reducing the accelerated ion energy and laser to ion conversion efficiency by up to 30-50% & 50-65%, respectively. Thus we identify the regimes of laser-matter interaction, where either ions are efficiently accelerated to high energy or dense pair-plasmas are produced as a guide for future experiments.
Original languageEnglish
Article number033014
Number of pages9
JournalNew Journal of Physics
Publication statusPublished - 26 Mar 2018


  • lasers
  • plasma
  • ion acceleration

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