Selective Ion Acceleration by Intense Radiation Pressure

Year: 2021

Authors: McIlvenny A., Doria D., Romagnani L., Ahmed H., Booth N., Ditter E. J., Ettlinger O. C., Hicks G. S., Martin P., Scott G. G., Williamson S. D. R., Macchi A., McKenna P., Najmudin Z., Neely D., Kar S., Borghesi M.

Autors Affiliation: Centre for Plasma Physics, Queens University Belfast, Belfast, BT7 1NN,United Kingdom; Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI-NP), Horia Hulubei National Institute for R and D in Physics and Nuclear Engineering (IFIN-HH), 30 Reactorului Street, Magurele, 077125, Romania; LULI-CNRS, Ecole Polytechnique, CEA, Universit Paris-Saclay, Palaiseau cedex, F-91128, France; LULI-CNRS, Ecole Polytechnique, CEA, Universit Paris-Saclay, Palaiseau cedex, F-91128, LULI-CNRS, Ecole Polytechnique, CEA, Universit Paris-Saclay, F-91128 Palaiseau cedex, France; Central Laser Facility, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Oxfordshire, OX11 0QX, United Kingdom; The John Adams Institute for Accelerator Science, Blackett Laboratory, Imperial College London, London, SW7 2BZ, United Kingdom; SUPA, Department of Physics, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, G4 0NG, United Kingdom; Istituto Nazionale di Ottica, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR/INO), research unit Adriano Gozzini, Pisa, 56124, Italy; Dipartimento di Fisica Enrico Fermi, Universita di Pisa, Pisa, 56127, Italy

Abstract: We report on the selective acceleration of carbon ions during the interaction of ultrashort, circularly polarized and contrast-enhanced laser pulses, at a peak intensity of 5.5 x 10(20) W/cm(2), with ultrathin carbon foils. Under optimized conditions, energies per nucleon of the bulk carbon ions reached significantly higher values than the energies of contaminant protons (33 MeV/nucleon vs 18 MeV), unlike what is typically observed in laser-foil acceleration experiments. Experimental data, and supporting simulations, emphasize different dominant acceleration mechanisms for the two ion species and highlight an (intensity dependent) optimum thickness for radiation pressure acceleration; it is suggested that the preceding laser energy reaching the target before the main pulse arrives plays a key role in a preferential acceleration of the heavier ion species.

Journal/Review: PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS

Volume: 127 (10)      Pages from: 194801-1  to: 194801-7

More Information: The authors would like to thank the GEMINI staff, engineering and target fabrication groups at the CLF for their support. This work was funded by EPSRC through grant EP/K022415/1. The EPOCH code is also funded by EPSRC (grants EP/G056803/1, EP/G055165/1 andEP/M022463/1) . The authors acknowledge computing resources provided by STFC Scientific Computing Department´s SCARF cluster as well Kelvin High Performance Computing cluster at Queen´s University Belfast.
KeyWords: laser-plasma acceleration, radiation pressure acceleration, ultrashort lasers, carbon ion acceleration
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.127.194801

Citations: 20
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