Laser acceleration of monoenergetic protons in a self-organized double layer from thin foil

Vipin Tripathi, Chuan-Sheng Liu, Xi Shao, Bengt Eliasson, Roald Z. Sagdeev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Citations (Scopus)


We present a theory for the acceleration of monoenergetic protons, trapped in a self-organized double layer, by short pulse laser irradiation on a thin foil with the specific thickness suggested by the simulation study of Yan et al (2008 Phys. Rev. Lett. 100 135003). The laser ponderomotive force pushes the electrons forward, leaving the ions behind until the space charge electric field balances the ponderomotive force at a distance Δ. For the optimal target thickness D = Δ > c/ωp, the electron sheath is piled up at the rear surface and the sheath electric field accelerates the protons until they are reflected by the inertial force in the accelerated frame. These protons are therefore trapped by the combined forces of the electrostatic field of the electron sheath and the inertial force of the accelerating target. Together with the electron layer, they form a double layer and are collectively accelerated by the laser ponderomotive force, leading to monoenergetic ion production.
Original languageEnglish
Article number024014
Number of pages9
JournalPlasma Physics and Controlled Fusion
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jan 2009


  • Proton acceleration
  • laser accelerator
  • thin foil


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