Polarization Dependence of Bulk Ion Acceleration from Ultrathin Foils Irradiated by High-Intensity Ultrashort Laser Pulses

Year: 2017

Authors: Scullion C., Doria D., Romagnani L., Sgattoni A., Naughton K., Symes D. R., McKenna P., Macchi A., Zepf M., Kar S., Borghesi M.

Autors Affiliation: Centre for Plasma Physics, School of Mathematics and Physics, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast BT7 1NN, United Kingdom; LULI, École Polytechnique, CNRS, Route de Saclay, 91128 Palaiseau Cedex, France; Istituto Nazionale di Ottica, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR/INO), Laboratorio Adriano Gozzini, 56124 Pisa, Italy; Central Laser Facility, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Oxfordshire OX11 0QX, United Kingdom; SUPA, Department of Physics, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow G4 0NG, United Kingdom; Dipartimento di Fisica Enrico Fermi, Università di Pisa, 56127 Pisa, Italy; Helmholtz Institute Jena, 07743 Jena, Germany

Abstract: The acceleration of ions from ultrathin (10-100 nm) carbon foils has been investigated using intense (similar to 6 x 10(20) W cm(-2)) ultrashort (45 fs) laser pulses, highlighting a strong dependence of the ion beam parameters on the laser polarization, with circularly polarized (CP) pulses producing the highest energies for both protons and carbons (25 – 30 MeV/nucleon); in particular, carbon ion energies obtained employing CP pulses were significantly higher (similar to 2.5 times) than for irradiations employing linearly polarized pulses. Particle-in-cell simulations indicate that radiation pressure acceleration becomes the dominant mechanism for the thinnest targets and CP pulses.

Journal/Review: PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS

Volume: 119 (5)      Pages from: 054801-1  to: 054801-6

More Information: The authors acknowledge funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (Grants No. EP/K022415/1, No. EP/J003832/1, No. EP/J500094/1, No. EP/I029206/1, No. EP/L002221/1, and No. EP/J002550/1) and facility access provided by the Science and Technology Facility Council. The simulations were run on 16384 BlueGene/Q cores on FERMI at CINECA (Bologna, Italy). The authors also acknowledge support from the laser and technical staff and target fabrication group at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory.
KeyWords: radiation pressure acceleration, laser-plasma acceleration, polarization
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.119.054801

Citations: 56
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