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High contrast ion acceleration at intensities exceeding 10(21) Wcm(-2)

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  • F. Dollar
  • C. Zulick
  • T. Matsuoka
  • C. McGuffey
  • S. S. Bulanov
  • V. Chvykov
  • J. Davis
  • G. Kalinchenko
  • G. M. Petrov
  • L. Willingale
  • V. Yanovsky
  • A. Maksimchuk
  • A. G. R. Thomas
  • K. Krushelnick
Article number056703
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>05/2013
<mark>Journal</mark>Physics of Plasmas
Issue number5
Number of pages8
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Ion acceleration from short pulse laser interactions at intensities of 2 x 10(21)Wcm(-2) was studied experimentally under a wide variety of parameters, including laser contrast, incidence angle, and target thickness. Trends in maximum proton energy were observed, as well as evidence of improvement in the acceleration gradients by using dual plasma mirrors over traditional pulse cleaning techniques. Extremely high efficiency acceleration gradients were produced, accelerating both the contaminant layer and high charge state ions from the bulk of the target. Two dimensional particle-in-cell simulations enabled the study of the influence of scale length on submicron targets, where hydrodynamic expansion affects the rear surface as well as the front. Experimental evidence of larger electric fields for sharp density plasmas is observed in simulation results as well for such targets, where target ions are accelerated without the need for contaminant removal. (C) 2013 AIP Publishing LLC.