Proton beams from intense laser-solid interaction: effects of the target materials

Y. X. Geng, D. Wu, W. Yu, Z. M. Sheng, S. Fritzsche, Q. Liao, M. J. Wu, X. H. Xu, D. Y. Li, W. J. Ma, H. Y. Lu, Y. Y. Zhao, X. T. He, J. E. Chen, C. Lin, X. Q. Yan

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Abstract

We report systematic studies of laser-driven proton beams produced with micrometer-thick solid targets made of aluminum and plastic, respectively. Distinct effects of the target materials are found on the total charge, cutoff energy, and beam spot of protons in the experiments, and these are described well by two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations incorporating intrinsic material properties. It is found that with a laser intensity of 8 × 1019 W/cm2, target normal sheath acceleration is the dominant mechanism for both types of target. For a plastic target, the higher charge and cutoff energy of the protons are due to the greater energy coupling efficiencies from the intense laser beams, and the larger divergence angle of the protons is due to the deflection of hot electrons during transport in the targets. We also find that the energy loss of hot electrons in targets of different thickness has a significant effect on the proton cutoff energy. The consistent results obtained here further narrow the gap between simulations and experiments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number14854
Number of pages6
JournalMatter and Radiation at Extremes
Volume5
Issue number6
Early online date12 Oct 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2020

Keywords

  • laser-driven
  • proton beams
  • particle-in-cell simulations
  • intense laser beams

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