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Ion acceleration in electrostatic collisionless shock: on the optimal density profile for quasi-monoenergetic beams

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Article number035010
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/02/2018
<mark>Journal</mark>Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion
Issue number3
Number of pages6
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


A numerical study on ion acceleration in electrostatic shock waves is presented, with the aim of determining the best plasma configuration to achieve quasi-monoenergetic ion beams in laser-driven systems. It was recently shown that tailored near-critical density plasmas characterized by a long-scale decreasing rear density profile lead to beams with low energy spread (Fiúza et al 2012 Phys. Rev. Lett. 109 215001). In this work, a detailed parameter scan investigating different plasma scale lengths is carried out. As result, the optimal plasma spatial scale length that allows for minimizing the energy spread while ensuring a significant reflection of ions by the shock is identified. Furthermore, a new configuration where the required profile has been obtained by coupling micro layers of different densities is proposed. Results show that this new engineered approach is a valid alternative, guaranteeing a low energy spread with a higher level of controllability.