Influence of shock waves on laser-driven proton acceleration

Lundh, O. and Lindau, F. and Persson, A. and Wahlstroem, C.-G. and McKenna, P. and Batani, D. (2007) Influence of shock waves on laser-driven proton acceleration. Physical Review E, 76 (2). 026404. ISSN 1539-3755

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The influence of shock waves, driven by amplified spontaneous emission (ASE), on laser-accelerated proton beams is investigated. A local deformation, produced by a cold shock wave launched by the ablation pressure of the ASE pedestal, can under oblique laser irradiation significantly direct the proton beam toward the laser axis. This can be understood in the frame of target normal sheath acceleration as proton emission from an area of the target where the local target normal is shifted toward the laser axis. Hydrodynamic simulations and experimental data show that there exists a window in laser and target parameter space where the target can be significantly deformed and yet facilitate efficient proton acceleration. The dependence of the magnitude of the deflection on target material, foil thickness, and ASE pedestal intensity and duration is experimentally investigated. The deflection angle is found to increase with increasing ASE intensity and duration and decrease with increasing target thickness. In a comparison between aluminum and copper target foils, aluminum is found to yield a larger proton beam deflection. An analytic model is successfully used to predict the proton emission direction.


Lundh, O., Lindau, F., Persson, A., Wahlstroem, C.-G., McKenna, P. ORCID logoORCID: and Batani, D.;