Enhanced Laser-Driven Ion Acceleration by Superponderomotive Electrons Generated from Near-Critical-Density Plasma

Jianhui Bin, Mark Yeung, Z. Gong, H. Y. Wang, C. Kreuzer, M. L. Zhou, M.J.V. Streeter, Peta Foster, Steven Cousens, Brendan Dromey, J. Meyer-ter-Vehn, Matthew Zepf, J. Schreiber

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Abstract

We report on the experimental studies of laser driven ion acceleration from a double-layer target where a near-critical density target with a few-micron thickness is coated in front of a nanometer-thin diamondlike carbon foil. A significant enhancement of proton maximum energies from 12 to ∼30 MeV is observed when a relativistic laser pulse impinges on the double-layer target under linear polarization. We attributed the enhanced acceleration to superponderomotive electrons that were simultaneously measured in the experiments with energies far beyond the free-electron
ponderomotive limit. Our interpretation is supported by two-dimensional simulation results.
Original languageEnglish
Article number074801
Pages (from-to)1-5
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Volume120
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2018

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