Hollow microspheres as targets for staged laser-driven proton acceleration

M Burza, A Gonoskov, G Genoud, A Persson, K Svensson, M Quinn, P McKenna, M Marklund, C-G Wahlström

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Abstract

A coated hollow core microsphere is introduced as a novel target in ultra-intense laser-matter interaction experiments. In particular, it facilitates staged laser-driven proton acceleration by combining conventional target normal sheath acceleration (TNSA), power recycling of hot laterally spreading electrons and staging in a very simple and cheap target geometry. During TNSA of protons from one area of the sphere surface, laterally spreading hot electrons form a charge wave. Due to the spherical geometry, this wave refocuses on the opposite side of the sphere, where an opening has been laser micromachined. This leads to a strong transient charge separation field being set up there, which can post-accelerate those TNSA protons passing through the hole at the right time. Experimentally, the feasibility of using such targets is demonstrated. A redistribution is encountered in the experimental proton energy spectra, as predicted by particle-in-cell simulations and attributed to transient fields set up by oscillating currents on the sphere surface.

Original languageEnglish
Article number013030
Number of pages14
JournalNew Journal of Physics
Volume13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jan 2011

Keywords

  • thin foils
  • intensity
  • generation
  • contrast
  • pulses
  • beams
  • ions

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