Proton beam generation by ultra-high intensity laser-solid interaction

Abstract : We report on some recent experimental results on proton production from ultra-intense laser pulse interaction with thin aluminium and plastic foil targets. These results were obtained at Laboratoire d'Optique Appliqueacutee with the 100 TW 'salle jaune' laser system, delivering 35 fs laser pulses at 0.8 μm, reaching a maximum intensity on target of a few 10^19 W/cm^2. In such extreme interaction conditions, an intense and collimated relativistic electron current is injected from the plasma created on the laser focal spot into the cold interior of the target. Its transport through dense matter, ruled by both collisions and self-induced (electro-magnetic) field effects, is the driving mechanism for proton acceleration from the rear side of thin foils: when reaching and leaving the foil rear-side, the fast electrons create a large charge separation and a huge electrostatic field with a maximum value of few TV/m, capable of accelerating protons. A parametric study as a function of the laser driver and target parameters indicates an optimal value for target thickness, which strongly depends on the laser prepulse duration. In our experiments, we did irradiate targets of various materials (CH, Al, Au) changing the prepulse duration by using fast Pockels cells in the laser chain. CR-39 nuclear track detectors with Al filters of different thickness and a Thomson parabola were used to detect proton generation. The best results were obtained for 2 μm Al targets, leading to the generation of proton energies with energies up to 12 MeV.
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https://hal-polytechnique.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00508284
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Submitted on : Monday, August 2, 2010 - 5:46:24 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, July 3, 2019 - 10:48:02 AM

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M. Manclossi, Alain Guemnie-Tafo, D. Batani, Victor Malka, S. Fritzler, et al.. Proton beam generation by ultra-high intensity laser-solid interaction. Radiation Effects and Defects in Solids, Taylor & Francis, 2005, 160 (10-12), pp.631 - 637. ⟨10.1080/10420150500493139⟩. ⟨hal-00508284⟩

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