Laser-plasma acceleration of quasi-monoenergetic protons from microsctructured targets

H. Schwoerer, S. Pfotenhauer, O. Jäckel, K.U. Amthor, B. Liesfeld, W. Ziegler, R. Sauerbrey, K.W.D. Ledingham, T. Esirkepov

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Abstract

Particle acceleration based on high intensity laser systems (a process known as laser-plasma acceleration) has achieved high quality particle beams that compare favourably with conventional acceleration techniques in terms of emittance, brightness and pulse duration. A long-term difficulty associated with laser-plasma acceleration - the very broad, exponential energy spectrum of the emitted particles - has been overcome recently for electron beams. Here we report analogous results for ions, specifically the production of quasi-monoenergetic proton beams using laser-plasma accelerators. Reliable and reproducible laser-accelerated ion beams were achieved by intense laser irradiation of solid microstructured targets. This proof-of-principle experiment serves to illuminate the role of laser-generated plasmas as feasible particle sources. Scalability studies show that, owing to their compact size and reasonable cost, such table-top laser systems with high repetition rates could contribute to the development of new generations of particle injectors that may be suitable for medical proton therapy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)445-448
Number of pages3
JournalNature
Volume439
Issue number7075
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jan 2006

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Keywords

  • particle acceleration
  • lasers
  • protons
  • plasma
  • ions
  • nature

Cite this

Schwoerer, H., Pfotenhauer, S., Jäckel, O., Amthor, K. U., Liesfeld, B., Ziegler, W., ... Esirkepov, T. (2006). Laser-plasma acceleration of quasi-monoenergetic protons from microsctructured targets. Nature, 439(7075), 445-448. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature04492