Energetics and energy scaling of quasi-monoenergetic protons in laser radiation pressure acceleration

Tung-Chang Liu, Xi Shao, Chuan-Sheng Liu, Jao-Jang Su, Bengt Eliasson, Vipin Tripathi, Galina Dudnikova, Roald Z. Sagdeev

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Theoretical and computational studies of the ion energy scaling of the radiation pressure acceleration of an ultra-thin foil by short pulse intense laser irradiation are presented. To obtain a quasi-monoenergetic ion beam with an energy spread of less than 20%, two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations show that the maximum energy of the quasi-monoenergetic ion beam is limited by self-induced transparency at the density minima caused by the Rayleigh-Taylor instability. For foils of optimal thickness, the time over which Rayleigh-Taylor instability fully develops and transparency occurs is almost independent of the laser amplitude. With a laser power of about one petawatt, quasi-monogenetic protons with 200 MeV and carbon ions with 100 MeV per nucleon can be obtained, suitable for particle therapy applications.
Original languageEnglish
Article number123105
Number of pages7
JournalPhysics of Plasmas
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 29 Dec 2011


  • proton acceleration
  • laser
  • Rayleigh-Taylor instability
  • energy-scaling
  • energetics
  • quasi-monoenergetic protons


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