Proton acceleration by moderately relativistic laser pulses interacting with solid density targets

Abstract : We use two-dimensional (2D) particle-in-cell simulations to study the interaction of short-duration, moderately relativistic laser pulses with sub-micrometric dense hydrogen plasma slabs. Particular attention is devoted to proton acceleration by the target normal sheath mechanism. We observed that improved acceleration due to relativistic transparency of the target is unlikely for the shortest pulses, even for ultra-thin (~10 nm) targets. This mechanism would require either longer pulses or higher laser intensities. As the target density and thickness, pulse length, duration and polarization are varied, we see clear relationships between laser irradiance, hot electron temperature and peak proton energy. All these explain why, at a given incident laser energy level, the highest proton energy is not always obtained for the shortest-duration, highest-intensity pulse.
Keywords : Plasma physics
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Journal articles
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Contributor : Aurélien Houard <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, July 7, 2010 - 1:47:34 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, July 3, 2019 - 10:48:02 AM

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Eric Lefebvre, Laurent Gremillet, Anna Lévy, Rachel Nuter, Patrizio Antici, et al.. Proton acceleration by moderately relativistic laser pulses interacting with solid density targets. New Journal of Physics, Institute of Physics: Open Access Journals, 2010, 12 (4), pp.045017. ⟨10.1088/1367-2630/12/4/045017⟩. ⟨hal-00498393⟩

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