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: 1) Centre for Plasma Physics, Queens University Belfast, Belfast BT7 1NN, United Kingdom
2)Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI-NP) and Horia Hulubei National Institute for R & D in Physics and Nuclear Engineering (IFIN-HH), 30 Reactorului Street, 077125 Magurele, Romania
3) LULI–CNRS, Ecole Polytechnique, CEA, Universit Paris-Saclay, F-91128 Palaiseau cedex, France
4) Central Laser Facility, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Oxfordshire OX11 0QX, United Kingdom
5) The John Adams Institute for Accelerator Science, Blackett Laboratory, Imperial College London, London SW7 2BZ, United Kingdom
6) SUPA, Department of Physics, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow G4 0NG, United Kingdom
7) Istituto Nazionale di Ottica, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR/INO), research unit Adriano Gozzini, Pisa 56124, Italy
8) Dipartimento di Fisica Enrico Fermi, Università 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: https://physics.aps.org/focus-for/10.1103/PhysRevLett.127.194801
KeyWords: laser-plasma acceleration, radiation pressure acceleration, ultrashort lasers, carbon ion acceleration
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.127.194801

Citations: 5
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