Energetics and energy scaling of quasi-monoenergetic protons in laser radiation pressure acceleration

Liu, Tung-Chang and Shao, Xi and Liu, Chuan-Sheng and Su, Jao-Jang and Eliasson, Bengt and Tripathi, Vipin and Dudnikova, Galina and Sagdeev, Roald Z. (2011) Energetics and energy scaling of quasi-monoenergetic protons in laser radiation pressure acceleration. Physics of Plasmas, 18 (12). 123105. ISSN 1070-664X

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    Abstract

    Theoretical and computational studies of the ion energy scaling of the radiation pressure acceleration of an ultra-thin foil by short pulse intense laser irradiation are presented. To obtain a quasi-monoenergetic ion beam with an energy spread of less than 20%, two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations show that the maximum energy of the quasi-monoenergetic ion beam is limited by self-induced transparency at the density minima caused by the Rayleigh-Taylor instability. For foils of optimal thickness, the time over which Rayleigh-Taylor instability fully develops and transparency occurs is almost independent of the laser amplitude. With a laser power of about one petawatt, quasi-monogenetic protons with 200 MeV and carbon ions with 100 MeV per nucleon can be obtained, suitable for particle therapy applications.