Theory and simulation of ion acceleration with circularly polarized laser pulses

Year: 2009

Authors: Macchi A., Liseykina T.V., Tuveri S., Veghini S.

Autors Affiliation: CNR/INFM/polyLAB, 56127 Pisa, Italy;
Department of Physics “E. Fermi”, University of Pisa, Largo B. Pontecorvo 3, 56127 Pisa, Italy;
Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics, 69029 Heidelberg, Germany

Abstract: Ion acceleration driven by the radiation pressure of circularly polarized pulses is investigated via analytical modeling and particle-in-cell simulations. Both thick and thin targets, i.e. the \”hole boring\” and \”light sail\” regimes are considered. Parametric studies in one spatial dimension are used to determine the optimal thickness of thin targets and to address the effects of preformed plasma profiles and laser pulse ellipticity in thick targets. Three-dimensional (3D) simulations show that \”flat-top\” radial profiles of the intensity are required to prevent early laser pulse breakthrough in thin targets. The 3D simulations are also used to address the issue of the conservation of the angular momentum of the laser pulse and its absorption in the plasma. To cite this article: A. Macchi et al., C R. Physique 10 (2009). (C) 2009 Academie des sciences. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.


Volume: 10 (2/3)      Pages from: 207  to: 215

More Information: We are grateful to M. Borghesi, F. Cattani, F. Cornolti and D. Prellino for their previous contributions on the topics of this paper and to many colleagues including D. Bauer, F. Ceccherini, T. Ceccotti, S. Kar, E. Lefebvre, F. Pegoraro, S. Propuzhenko, and M. Zepf, for useful discussions or suggestions. We thank I. Klonova for the French translation of the abstract. The 3D simulations were performed on the computing clusters at CINECA, Bologna (sponsored by the CNR/INFM supercomputing initiative) and at MPI-K, Heidelberg. Part of the work was performed during a stay of two of the authors at Queen\’s University, Belfast, supported by a Visiting Research Fellowship (A.M.) and by COST-P 14 (S.T.). Support from CNR via a RSTL project is also acknowledged.
KeyWords: laser-plasma acceleration; ion acceleration; radiation pressure; circular polarization; laser-plasma interactions
DOI: 10.1016/j.crhy.2009.03.002

Citations: 17
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