Versatile tape-drive target for high-repetition-rate laser-driven proton acceleration

Xu, N. and Streeter, M. J. V. and Ettlinger, O. C. and Ahmed, H. and Astbury, S. and Borghesi, M. and Bourgeois, N. and Curry, C. B. and Dann, S. J. D. and Dover, N. P. and Dzelzainis, T. and Istokskaia, V. and Gauthier, M. and Giuffrida, L. and Glenn, G. D. and Glenzer, S. H. and Gray, R. J. and Green, J. S. and Hicks, G. S. and Hyland, C. and King, M. and Loughran, B. and Margarone, D. and McCusker, O. and McKenna, P. and Parisuaña, C. and Parsons, P. and Spindloe, C. and Symes, D. R. and Treffert, F. and Palmer, C. A. J. and Najmudin, Z. (2023) Versatile tape-drive target for high-repetition-rate laser-driven proton acceleration. High Power Laser Science and Engineering, 11. e23. ISSN 2052-3289 (

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We present the development and characterization of a high-stability, multi-material, multi-thickness tape-drive target for laser-driven acceleration at repetition rates of up to 100 Hz. The tape surface position was measured to be stable on the sub-micrometre scale, compatible with the high-numerical aperture focusing geometries required to achieve relativistic intensity interactions with the pulse energy available in current multi-Hz and near-future higher repetition-rate lasers ( >kHz). Long-term drift was characterized at 100 Hz demonstrating suitability for operation over extended periods. The target was continuously operated at up to 5 Hz in a recent experiment for 70,000 shots without intervention by the experimental team, with the exception of tape replacement, producing the largest data-set of relativistically intense laser–solid foil measurements to date. This tape drive provides robust targetry for the generation and study of high-repetition-rate ion beams using next-generation high-power laser systems, also enabling wider applications of laser-driven proton sources.


Xu, N., Streeter, M. J. V., Ettlinger, O. C., Ahmed, H., Astbury, S., Borghesi, M., Bourgeois, N., Curry, C. B., Dann, S. J. D., Dover, N. P., Dzelzainis, T., Istokskaia, V., Gauthier, M., Giuffrida, L., Glenn, G. D., Glenzer, S. H., Gray, R. J. ORCID logoORCID:, Green, J. S., Hicks, G. S., Hyland, C., King, M. ORCID logoORCID:, Loughran, B., Margarone, D., McCusker, O., McKenna, P. ORCID logoORCID:, Parisuaña, C., Parsons, P., Spindloe, C., Symes, D. R., Treffert, F., Palmer, C. A. J. and Najmudin, Z.;