High energy conversion efficiency in laser-proton acceleration by controlling laser-energy deposition onto thin foil targets

Ceri Mae Brenner, A. P. L. Robinson, K. Markey, R. H. H. Scott, Ross Gray, M. Rosinski, K. Deppert, J Badziak, D. Batani, J.R. Davies, K.L. Lancaster, I. O. Musgrave, P.A. Norreys, J. Pasley, M. Roth, H-P Schlenvoight, C. Spindloe, M. Tatarakis, T. B. Winstone, Paul McKennaDavid Neely

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An all-optical approach to laser-proton acceleration enhancement is investigated using the simplest of target designs to demonstrate application-relevant levels of energy conversion efficiency between laser and protons. Controlled deposition of laser energy, in the form of a double-pulse temporal envelope, is investigated in combination with thin foil targets in which recirculation of laser-accelerated electrons can lead to optimal conditions for coupling laser drive energy into the proton beam. This approach is shown to deliver a substantial enhancement in the coupling of laser energy to 5–30 MeV protons, compared to single pulse irradiation, reaching a record high 15% conversion efficiency with a temporal separation of 1 ps between the two pulses and a 5 μm-thick Au foil. A 1D simulation code is used to support and explain the origin of the observation of an optimum pulse separation of ∼1 ps.
Original languageEnglish
Article number081123
Number of pages5
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number8
Early online date28 Feb 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • laser-proton acceleration
  • energy conversion efficiency
  • lasers
  • protons
  • aser-accelerated electrons

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