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Multi-pulse enhanced laser ion acceleration using plasma half cavity targets

Scott, G. G. and Green, J. S. and Bagnoud, V. and Brabetz, C. and Brenner, C. M. and Carroll, D. C. and MacLellan, D. A. and Robinson, A. P. L. and Roth, M. and Spindloe, C. and Wagner, F. and Zielbauer, B. and McKenna, P. and Neely, D. (2012) Multi-pulse enhanced laser ion acceleration using plasma half cavity targets. Applied Physics Letters, 101 (2). ISSN 0003-6951

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    We report on a plasma half cavity target design for laser driven ion acceleration that enhances the laser to proton energy conversion efficiency and has been found to modify the low energy region of the proton spectrum. The target design utilizes the high fraction of laser energy reflected from an ionized surface and refocuses it such that a double pulse interaction is attained. We report on numerical simulations and experimental results demonstrating that conversion efficiencies can be doubled, compared to planar foil interactions, when the secondary pulse is delivered within picoseconds of the primary pulse.