Polarization dependence of bulk ion acceleration from ultrathin foils irradiated by high intensity, ultrashort laser pulses

C. Scullion, D. Doria, L. Romagnani, A. Sgattoni, K. Naughton, D.R. Symes, P. McKenna, A. Macchi, M. Zepf, S. Kar, M. Borghesi

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The acceleration of ions from ultrathin (10-100 nm) carbon foils has been investigated using intense (∼ 6 x1020 Wcm-2), ultrashort (45 fs) laser pulses, highlighting a strong dependence of the ion beam parameters on the laser polarization, with circularly polarized (CP) pulses producing the highest energies for both protons and carbons (25-30 MeV/nucleon); carbon ion energies obtained employing CP pulses were signicantly higher (∼2.5 times) than for irradiations employing linearly polarized (LP) pulses. Particle-in-cell simulations indicate that Radiation Pressure Acceleration becomes the dominant mechanism for the thinnest targets and CP pulses.
Original languageEnglish
Article number054801
Number of pages6
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Publication statusPublished - 2 Aug 2017


  • ion acceleration
  • lasers
  • radiation pressure acceleration

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