Influence of radiation reaction force on ultraintense laser-driven ion acceleration

R. Capdessus, P. McKenna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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The role of the radiation reaction force in ultraintense laser-driven ion acceleration is investigated. For laser intensities ∼10 23W/cm2, the action of this force on electrons is demonstrated in relativistic particle-in-cell simulations to significantly enhance the energy transfer to ions in relativistically transparent targets, but strongly reduce the ion energy in dense plasma targets. An expression is derived for the revised piston velocity, and hence ion energy, taking account of energy loses to synchrotron radiation generated by electrons accelerated in the laser field. Ion mass is demonstrated to be important by comparing results obtained with proton and deuteron plasma. The results can be verified in experiments with cryogenic hydrogen and deuterium targets.
Original languageEnglish
Article number053105
Number of pages18
JournalPhysical Review E: Statistical Physics, Plasmas, Fluids, and Related Interdisciplinary Topics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 19 May 2015


  • laser pulse intensity
  • ion acceleration
  • radiation pressure acceleration


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