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Characterization of laser-driven proton beams from near-critical density targets using copper activation

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  • L. Willingale
  • S. R. Nagel
  • A. G. R. Thomas
  • C. Bellei
  • R. J. Clarke
  • A. E. Dangor
  • R. Heathcote
  • M. C. Kaluza
  • C. Kamperidis
  • S. Kneip
  • K. Krushelnick
  • N. Lopes
  • S. P. D. Mangles
  • W. Nazarov
  • P. M. Nilson
  • Z. Najmudin
Article number365810102
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>01/2015
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Plasma Physics
Number of pages12
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Copper activation was used to characterize high-energy proton beam acceleration from near-critical density plasma targets. An enhancement was observed when decreasing the target density, which is indicative for an increased laser-accelerated hot electron density at the rear target-vacuum boundary. This is due to channel formation and collimation of the hot electrons inside the target. Particle-in-cell simulations support the experimental observations and show the correlation between channel depth and longitudinal electric field strength is directly correlated with the proton acceleration.