Cascaded acceleration of proton beams in ultrashort laser-irradiated microtubes

Wang, H. C. and Weng, S. M. and Murakami, M. and Sheng, Z. M. and Chen, M. and Zhao, Q. and Zhang, J. (2017) Cascaded acceleration of proton beams in ultrashort laser-irradiated microtubes. Physics of Plasmas, 24 (9). 093117. ISSN 1070-664X

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    Abstract

    A cascaded ion acceleration scheme is proposed by use of ultrashort laser-irradiated microtubes. When the electrons of a microtube are blown away by intense laser pulses, strong charge-separation electric fields are formed in the microtube along both the axial and radial directions. By controlling the time delay between the laser pulses and a pre-accelerated proton beam injected along the microtube axis, we demonstrate that this proton beam can be further accelerated by the transient axial electric field in the laser-irradiated microtube. Moreover, the collimation of the injected proton beam can be enhanced by the inward radial electric field. Numerical simulations show that this cascaded ion acceleration scheme works efficiently even at non-relativistic laser intensities, and it can be applied to injected proton beams in the energy range from 1 to 100 MeV. Therefore, it is particularly suitable for cascading acceleration of protons to higher energy.