Detail Project and Funding

Superintense Laser-Driven Ion Sources


Funded by: Ministero dell’Istruzione, Universit√† e Ricerca (MIUR)  
Calls: FIRB
Start date: 2010-12-01  End date: 2014-12-01
Total Budget: EUR 439.000,00  INO share of the total budget: EUR 67.200,00
Scientific manager: Passoni Matteo   and for INO is: Macchi Andrea

Organization/Institution/Company main assignee: Politecnico di Milano

other Organization/Institution/Company involved:

other INO’s people involved:

Abstract: Ion acceleration from solid targets irradiated by high-intensity pulses is a burgeoning area of research, currently attracting a phenomenal amount of experimental and theoretical attention worldwide. Key to this interest are the ultra-compact spatial scale of the accelerator and the fact that the properties of laser-driven ion beams are, under several respects, markedly different from those of “conventional” accelerator beams. In particular, the spatial quality of laser-driven beams is exceptionally high, and their duration at the source is orders of magnitude shorter than other available sources. In view of such properties laser-driven ion beams have the potential to be employed in a number of innovative applications in the scientific, technological and medical areas.
From the point of view of fundamental physics, the underlying dynamics of laser-plasma interaction at ultrahigh field intensities and the acceleration of macroscopic quantities of matter towards GeV/nucleon energies represent unique examples of relativistic many-body systems which can be produced and studied in a small laboratory scales. The study of such systems are also challenging for theoretical and computational physics, due to the extremely nonlinear, collective dynamics and the typical multi-scale nature of the problems.
The present project aims at attaining major advances in this research field by a joint effort between two Italian research units, representing the most recognized national groups active in the theory and simulation of laser-plasma acceleration, and international partners which are leaders in experimental laser-plasma physics. This effort will include a wide theoretical and computational study of ion acceleration regimes, such as the Target Normal Sheath Acceleration and the Radiation Pressure Acceleration regimes, aimed at achieving a deeper understanding of existing experimental data, proposing and interpreting further experiments, and inferring the scaling of ion acceleration in near-future regimes of ultra-high intensities where major breakthroughs may be expected. In particular, a major part of the research will focus on the design, production and testing of micro- and nano-engineered targets whose characteristics will be tailored to optimize the production of energetic ions. This activity will involve and coordinate in an unprecedented way expertises from materials science and engineering with those from laser and plasma physics and computational science.

INO’s Experiments/Theoretical Study correlated:
Intense laser interaction with structured targets and high field plasmonics
Laser-driven ion acceleration
Laser-driven collisionless shock waves

The Scientific Results:
1) Radiation pressure acceleration of ultrathin foils
2) Radiation reaction effects on radiation pressure acceleration
3) Ion acceleration by radiation pressure in thin and thick targets
4) Radiation friction modeling in superintense laser-plasma interactions
5) Radiation pressure and radiation reaction effects in laser-solid interaction
6) Ion Acceleration in Superintense Laser Interaction with
Ultrathin Targets

7) Dynamics of Radiation Pressure Acceleration
8) Radiation Reaction Effects on Electron Nonlinear Dynamics and Ion Acceleration in Laser-Solid Interaction
9) Laser ion acceleration using a solid target coupled with a low-density layer
10) Weibel-Induced Filamentation during an Ultrafast Laser-Driven Plasma Expansion
11) Solitary versus shock wave acceleration in laser-plasma interactions
12) Ion Acceleration in Multispecies Targets Driven by Intense Laser Radiation Pressure
13) Dynamics of self-generated, large amplitude magnetic fields following high-intensity laser matter interaction
14) Energetic ions at moderate laser intensities using foam-based multi-layered targets
15) Ion acceleration by superintense laser-plasma interaction
16) Micro-sphere layered targets efficiency in laser driven proton acceleration
17) Evidence of Resonant Surface-Wave Excitation in the Relativistic Regime through Measurements of Proton Acceleration from Grating Targets
18) Experimental investigation of hole boring and light sail regimes of RPA by varying laser and target parameters
19) Advanced strategies for ion acceleration using high-power lasers
20) Laser plasma proton acceleration experiments using foam-covered and grating targets
21) Theory of Light Sail Acceleration by Intense Lasers: an Overview
22) High energy gain in three-dimensional simulations of light sail acceleration