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Enhancing laser-driven proton acceleration by using micro-pillar arrays at high drive energy

Khaghani, Dimitri and Lobet, Mathieu and Borm, Björn and Burr, Loïc and Gärtner, Felix and Gremillet, Laurent and Movsesyan, Liana and Rosmej, Olga and Toimil-Molares, Maria Eugenia and Wagner, Florian and Neumayer, Paul (2017):
Enhancing laser-driven proton acceleration by using micro-pillar arrays at high drive energy.
In: Scientific Reports, Nature, 7, (1), ISSN 2045-2322,
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-11589-z,
[Online-Edition: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-11589-z],
[Article]

Abstract

The interaction of micro- and nano-structured target surfaces with high-power laser pulses is being widely investigated for its unprecedented absorption efficiency. We have developed vertically aligned metallic micro-pillar arrays for laser-driven proton acceleration experiments. We demonstrate that such targets help strengthen interaction mechanisms when irradiated with high-energy-class laser pulses of intensities ~1017–18 W/cm2. In comparison with standard planar targets, we witness strongly enhanced hot-electron production and proton acceleration both in terms of maximum energies and particle numbers. Supporting our experimental results, two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations show an increase in laser energy conversion into hot electrons, leading to stronger acceleration fields. This opens a window of opportunity for further improvements of laser-driven ion acceleration systems.

Item Type: Article
Erschienen: 2017
Creators: Khaghani, Dimitri and Lobet, Mathieu and Borm, Björn and Burr, Loïc and Gärtner, Felix and Gremillet, Laurent and Movsesyan, Liana and Rosmej, Olga and Toimil-Molares, Maria Eugenia and Wagner, Florian and Neumayer, Paul
Title: Enhancing laser-driven proton acceleration by using micro-pillar arrays at high drive energy
Language: English
Abstract:

The interaction of micro- and nano-structured target surfaces with high-power laser pulses is being widely investigated for its unprecedented absorption efficiency. We have developed vertically aligned metallic micro-pillar arrays for laser-driven proton acceleration experiments. We demonstrate that such targets help strengthen interaction mechanisms when irradiated with high-energy-class laser pulses of intensities ~1017–18 W/cm2. In comparison with standard planar targets, we witness strongly enhanced hot-electron production and proton acceleration both in terms of maximum energies and particle numbers. Supporting our experimental results, two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations show an increase in laser energy conversion into hot electrons, leading to stronger acceleration fields. This opens a window of opportunity for further improvements of laser-driven ion acceleration systems.

Journal or Publication Title: Scientific Reports
Volume: 7
Number: 1
Publisher: Nature
Divisions: 11 Department of Materials and Earth Sciences > Material Science > Ion-Beam-Modified Materials
11 Department of Materials and Earth Sciences > Material Science
11 Department of Materials and Earth Sciences
Date Deposited: 29 Dec 2017 12:02
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-11589-z
Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-11589-z
Funders: We acknowledge PRACE for awarding us access to TGCC/Curie (Grant No. 2014112576).
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