Laser-driven proton acceleration via excitation of surface plasmon polaritons into TiO(2) nanotube array targets

Year: 2020

Authors: Cristoforetti G., Baffigi F., Brandi F., D’Arrigo G., Fazzi A., Fulgentini L., Giove D., Koester P., Labate L., Maero G., Palla D., Romé M., Russo R., Terzani D., Tomassini P., Gizzi LA.

Autors Affiliation: CNR, Ist Nazl Ott, ILIL, Pisa, Italy; CNR, Ist Microelettron & Microsistemi, Catania, Italy; Politecn Milan, Dipartimento Energia, Milan, Italy; INFN, Sez Milano, Milan, Italy; INFN, Sez Pisa, Pisa, Italy; Univ Milan, Dipartimento Fis, Milan, Italy

Abstract: In this paper we report the measurement of laser-driven proton acceleration obtained by irradiating nanotube array targets with ultrashort laser pulses at an intensity in excess of 10(20)W cm(-2). The energetic spectra of forward accelerated protons show a larger flux and a higher proton cutoff energy if compared to flat foils of comparable thickness. Particle-In-Cell 2D simulations reveal that packed nanotube targets favour a better laser-plasma coupling and produce an efficient generation of fast electrons moving through the target. Due to their sub-wavelength size, the propagation of e.m. field into the tubes is made possible by the excitation of Surface Plasmon Polaritons, travelling down to the end of the target and assuring a continuous electron acceleration. The higher amount and energy of these electrons result in turn in a stronger electric sheath field on the rear surface of the target and in a more efficient acceleration of the protons via the target normal sheath acceleration mechanism.

Journal/Review: PLASMA PHYSICS AND CONTROLLED FUSION

Volume: 62 (11)      Pages from: 114001-1  to: 114001-10

More Information: This project has received funding from the CNR funded Italian research Network ELI-Italy and from the L3IA INFN Experiment of CSN5. We gratefully acknowledge support from the Central Laser Facility for in kind contribution to the experimental set up described in this experiment.
KeyWords: relativistic laser interaction, nanostructured targets, ion acceleration
DOI: 10.1088/1361-6587/abb5e3

Citations: 14
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