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Dynamic control of laser-produced proton beams

Kar, S. and Markey, K. and Simpson, P.T. and Bellei, C. and Green, J.S. and Nagel, S.R. and Carroll, D.C. and McKenna, P. (2008) Dynamic control of laser-produced proton beams. Physical Review Letters, 100 (10). pp. 105004-1. ISSN 0031-9007

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The emission characteristics of intense laser driven protons are controlled using ultrastrong (of the order of 109 V/m) electrostatic fields varying on a few ps time scale. The field structures are achieved by exploiting the high potential of the target (reaching multi-MV during the laser interaction). Suitably shaped targets result in a reduction in the proton beam divergence, and hence an increase in proton flux while preserving the high beam quality. The peak focusing power and its temporal variation are shown to depend on the target characteristics, allowing for the collimation of the inherently highly divergent beam and the design of achromatic electrostatic lenses.