Scientific Results

Rise time of proton cut-off energy in 2D and 3D PIC simulations

Year: 2017

Authors: Babaei J., Gizzi LA., Londrillo P., Mirzanejad S., Rovelli T., Sinigardi S., Turchetti, G.

Autors Affiliation: Department of Physics, Faculty of Basic Sciences, University of Mazandaran, P.O. Box 47415-416, Babolsar, Iran
ILIL, Istituto Nazionale di Ottica, CNR Pisa and INFN Sezione di Pisa, Italy
INAF Osservatorio Astronomico di Bologna, Via Ranzani 1, 40127 Bologna, Italy
Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia, Università di Bologna and INFN Sezione di Bologna, Via Irnerio 46, I-40126 Bologna (BO), Italy
Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia, Università di Bologna, Via Irnerio 46, I-40126 Bologna (BO), Italy

Abstract: The Target Normal Sheath Acceleration regime for proton acceleration by laser pulses is experimentally consolidated and fairly well understood. However, uncertainties remain in the analysis of particle-in-cell simulation results. The energy spectrum is exponential with a cut-off, but the maximum energy depends on the simulation time, following different laws in two and three dimensional (2D, 3D) PIC simulations so that the determination of an asymptotic value has some arbitrariness. We propose two empirical laws for the rise time of the cut-off energy in 2D and 3D PIC simulations, suggested by a model in which the proton acceleration is due to a surface charge distribution on the target rear side. The kinetic energy of the protons that we obtain follows two distinct laws, which appear to be nicely satisfied by PIC simulations, for a model target given by a uniform foil plus a contaminant layer that is hydrogen-rich. The laws depend on two parameters: the scaling time, at which the energy starts to rise, and the asymptotic cut-off energy. The values of the cut-off energy, obtained by fitting 2D and 3D simulations for the same target and laser pulse configuration, are comparable. This suggests that parametric scans can be performed with 2D simulations since 3D ones are computationally very expensive, delegating their role only to a correspondence check. In this paper, the simulations are carried out with the PIC code ALaDyn by changing the target thickness L and the incidence angle alpha, with a fixed a(0) = 3. A monotonic dependence, on L for normal incidence and on alpha for fixed L, is found, as in the experimental results for high temporal contrast pulses.

Journal/Review: PHYSICS OF PLASMAS

Volume: 24 (4)      Pages from: 043106-1  to: 043106-8

More Information: DOI: 10.1063/1.4979901
KeyWords: Laser; Acceleration; Target; Beams;

English