Scientific Results

Guided post-acceleration of laser-driven ions by a miniature modular structure

Year: 2016

Authors: Kar S., Ahmed H., Prasad R., Cerchez M., Brauckmann S., Aurand B., Cantono G., Hadjisolomou P., Lewis C., Macchi A., Nersisyan G., Robinson A., Schroer A.-M., Swantusch M., Zepf M., Willi O., Borghesi M.

Autors Affiliation: 1) School of Mathematics and Physics, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast BT7 1NN, UK
2) Institut für Laser-und Plasmaphysik, Heinrich-Heine-Universität, Düsseldorf D-40225, Germany
3) Department of Physics E. Fermi, Largo B. Pontecorvo 3, Pisa 56127, Italy
4) Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Istituto Nazionale di Ottica, Research Unit Adriano Gozzini, via G. Moruzzi 1, Pisa 56124, Italy
5) Central Laser Facility, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Didcot, Oxfordshire OX11 0QX, UK
6) Helmholtz Institut Jena, 07743 Jena, Germany
7) Institut für Optik und Quantenelektronik, Universität Jena, 07743 Jena, Germany

Abstract: All-optical approaches to particle acceleration are currently attracting a significant research effort internationally. Although characterized by exceptional transverse and longitudinal emittance, laser-driven ion beams currently have limitations in terms of peak ion energy, bandwidth of the energy spectrum and beam divergence. Here we introduce the concept of a versatile, miniature linear accelerating module, which, by employing laser-excited electromagnetic pulses directed along a helical path surrounding the laser-accelerated ion beams, addresses these shortcomings simultaneously. In a proof-of-principle experiment on a university-scale system, we demonstrate post-acceleration of laser-driven protons from a flat foil at a rate of 0.5 GeV m−1, already beyond what can be sustained by conventional accelerator technologies, with dynamic beam collimation and energy selection. These results open up new opportunities for the development of extremely compact and cost-effective ion accelerators for both established and innovative applications.

Journal/Review: NATURE COMMUNICATIONS

Volume: 7      Pages from: 10792-1  to: 10792-7

KeyWords: laser-plasma acceleration; ion acceleration;
DOI: 10.1038/ncomms10792

Citations: 40
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