Proton acceleration enhanced by a plasma jet in expanding foils undergoing relativistic transparency

H W Powell, M King, R J Gray, D A MacLellan, Bruno Izquierdo, L C Stockhausen, G Hicks, N P Dover, D R Rusby, D C Carroll, H Padda, R Torres, S Kar, R J Clarke, I O Musgrave, Z. Najmudin, M Borghesi, D Neely, P McKenna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Ion acceleration driven by the interaction of an ultraintense (2x10^20 Wcm^-2) laser pulse with an ultrathin (40nm) foil target is experimentally and numerically investigated. Protons accelerated by sheath fields and via laser radiation pressure are angularly separated and identified based on their directionality and signature features (e.g. transverse instabilities) in the measured spatial-intensity distribution. A low divergence, high energy proton component is also detected when the heated target electrons expand and the target becomes relativistically transparent during the interaction. 2D and 3D particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations indicate that under these conditions a plasma jet is formed at the target rear, supported by a self-generated azimuthal magnetic field, which extends into the expanded layer of sheath-accelerated protons. Electrons trapped within this jet are directly accelerated to super-thermal energies by the portion of the laser pulse transmitted through the target. The resulting streaming of the electrons into the ion layers enhances the energy of protons in the vicinity of the jet. Through the addition of a controlled prepulse, the maximum energy of these protons is demonstrated experimentally and numerically to be sensitive to the picosecond rising edge prole of the laser pulse.
LanguageEnglish
Article number103033
Number of pages10
JournalNew Journal of Physics
Volume17
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Oct 2015

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plasma jets
foils
protons
sheaths
pulses
lasers
electrons
radiation pressure
proton energy
thermal energy
divergence
ions
signatures
interactions
laser beams
energy
cells
magnetic fields
simulation

Keywords

  • laser pulse
  • ultra thin foil target
  • laser radiation
  • laser-plasma interactions
  • relativistic transparency
  • ion acceleration
  • plasma jet

Cite this

Powell, H W ; King, M ; Gray, R J ; MacLellan, D A ; Izquierdo, Bruno ; Stockhausen, L C ; Hicks, G ; Dover, N P ; Rusby, D R ; Carroll, D C ; Padda, H ; Torres, R ; Kar, S ; Clarke, R J ; Musgrave, I O ; Najmudin, Z. ; Borghesi, M ; Neely, D ; McKenna, P. / Proton acceleration enhanced by a plasma jet in expanding foils undergoing relativistic transparency. In: New Journal of Physics. 2015 ; Vol. 17.
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abstract = "Ion acceleration driven by the interaction of an ultraintense (2x10^20 Wcm^-2) laser pulse with an ultrathin (40nm) foil target is experimentally and numerically investigated. Protons accelerated by sheath fields and via laser radiation pressure are angularly separated and identified based on their directionality and signature features (e.g. transverse instabilities) in the measured spatial-intensity distribution. A low divergence, high energy proton component is also detected when the heated target electrons expand and the target becomes relativistically transparent during the interaction. 2D and 3D particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations indicate that under these conditions a plasma jet is formed at the target rear, supported by a self-generated azimuthal magnetic field, which extends into the expanded layer of sheath-accelerated protons. Electrons trapped within this jet are directly accelerated to super-thermal energies by the portion of the laser pulse transmitted through the target. The resulting streaming of the electrons into the ion layers enhances the energy of protons in the vicinity of the jet. Through the addition of a controlled prepulse, the maximum energy of these protons is demonstrated experimentally and numerically to be sensitive to the picosecond rising edge prole of the laser pulse.",
keywords = "laser pulse, ultra thin foil target, laser radiation, laser-plasma interactions, relativistic transparency, ion acceleration, plasma jet",
author = "Powell, {H W} and M King and Gray, {R J} and MacLellan, {D A} and Bruno Izquierdo and Stockhausen, {L C} and G Hicks and Dover, {N P} and Rusby, {D R} and Carroll, {D C} and H Padda and R Torres and S Kar and Clarke, {R J} and Musgrave, {I O} and Z. Najmudin and M Borghesi and D Neely and P McKenna",
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Powell, HW, King, M, Gray, RJ, MacLellan, DA, Izquierdo, B, Stockhausen, LC, Hicks, G, Dover, NP, Rusby, DR, Carroll, DC, Padda, H, Torres, R, Kar, S, Clarke, RJ, Musgrave, IO, Najmudin, Z, Borghesi, M, Neely, D & McKenna, P 2015, 'Proton acceleration enhanced by a plasma jet in expanding foils undergoing relativistic transparency' New Journal of Physics, vol. 17, 103033. https://doi.org/10.1088/1367-2630/17/10/103033

Proton acceleration enhanced by a plasma jet in expanding foils undergoing relativistic transparency. / Powell, H W; King, M; Gray, R J; MacLellan, D A; Izquierdo, Bruno; Stockhausen, L C; Hicks, G; Dover, N P; Rusby, D R; Carroll, D C; Padda, H ; Torres, R ; Kar, S; Clarke, R J; Musgrave, I O; Najmudin, Z.; Borghesi, M; Neely, D; McKenna, P.

In: New Journal of Physics, Vol. 17, 103033, 16.10.2015.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Proton acceleration enhanced by a plasma jet in expanding foils undergoing relativistic transparency

AU - Powell, H W

AU - King, M

AU - Gray, R J

AU - MacLellan, D A

AU - Izquierdo, Bruno

AU - Stockhausen, L C

AU - Hicks, G

AU - Dover, N P

AU - Rusby, D R

AU - Carroll, D C

AU - Padda, H

AU - Torres, R

AU - Kar, S

AU - Clarke, R J

AU - Musgrave, I O

AU - Najmudin, Z.

AU - Borghesi, M

AU - Neely, D

AU - McKenna, P

PY - 2015/10/16

Y1 - 2015/10/16

N2 - Ion acceleration driven by the interaction of an ultraintense (2x10^20 Wcm^-2) laser pulse with an ultrathin (40nm) foil target is experimentally and numerically investigated. Protons accelerated by sheath fields and via laser radiation pressure are angularly separated and identified based on their directionality and signature features (e.g. transverse instabilities) in the measured spatial-intensity distribution. A low divergence, high energy proton component is also detected when the heated target electrons expand and the target becomes relativistically transparent during the interaction. 2D and 3D particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations indicate that under these conditions a plasma jet is formed at the target rear, supported by a self-generated azimuthal magnetic field, which extends into the expanded layer of sheath-accelerated protons. Electrons trapped within this jet are directly accelerated to super-thermal energies by the portion of the laser pulse transmitted through the target. The resulting streaming of the electrons into the ion layers enhances the energy of protons in the vicinity of the jet. Through the addition of a controlled prepulse, the maximum energy of these protons is demonstrated experimentally and numerically to be sensitive to the picosecond rising edge prole of the laser pulse.

AB - Ion acceleration driven by the interaction of an ultraintense (2x10^20 Wcm^-2) laser pulse with an ultrathin (40nm) foil target is experimentally and numerically investigated. Protons accelerated by sheath fields and via laser radiation pressure are angularly separated and identified based on their directionality and signature features (e.g. transverse instabilities) in the measured spatial-intensity distribution. A low divergence, high energy proton component is also detected when the heated target electrons expand and the target becomes relativistically transparent during the interaction. 2D and 3D particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations indicate that under these conditions a plasma jet is formed at the target rear, supported by a self-generated azimuthal magnetic field, which extends into the expanded layer of sheath-accelerated protons. Electrons trapped within this jet are directly accelerated to super-thermal energies by the portion of the laser pulse transmitted through the target. The resulting streaming of the electrons into the ion layers enhances the energy of protons in the vicinity of the jet. Through the addition of a controlled prepulse, the maximum energy of these protons is demonstrated experimentally and numerically to be sensitive to the picosecond rising edge prole of the laser pulse.

KW - laser pulse

KW - ultra thin foil target

KW - laser radiation

KW - laser-plasma interactions

KW - relativistic transparency

KW - ion acceleration

KW - plasma jet

UR - http://iopscience.iop.org/1367-2630

U2 - 10.1088/1367-2630/17/10/103033

DO - 10.1088/1367-2630/17/10/103033

M3 - Article

VL - 17

JO - New Journal of Physics

T2 - New Journal of Physics

JF - New Journal of Physics

SN - 1367-2630

M1 - 103033

ER -