Ion Acceleration in Multispecies Targets Driven by Intense Laser Radiation Pressure

S. Kar*, K. F. Kakolee, B. Qiao, A. Macchi, M. Cerchez, D. Doria, M. Geissler, P. McKenna, D. Neely, J. Osterholz, R. Prasad, K. Quinn, B. Ramakrishna, G. Sarri, O. Willi, X. Y. Yuan, M. Zepf, M. Borghesi

*Corresponding author for this work

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The acceleration of ions from ultrathin foils has been investigated by using 250 TW, subpicosecond laser pulses, focused to intensities of up to 3 X 10(20) W cm(-2). The ion spectra show the appearance of narrow-band features for protons and carbon ions peaked at higher energies (in the 5-10 MeV/nucleon range) and with significantly higher flux than previously reported. The spectral features and their scaling with laser and target parameters provide evidence of a multispecies scenario of radiation pressure acceleration in the light sail mode, as confirmed by analytical estimates and 2D particle-in-cell simulations. The scaling indicates that monoenergetic peaks with more than 100 MeV/nucleon are obtainable with moderate improvements of the target and laser characteristics, which are within reach of ongoing technical developments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number185006
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 02 Nov 2012

Bibliographical note

The authors acknowledge funding from EPSRC [EP/
E035728/1-LIBRA consortium, EP/E048668/1 and EP/
J002550/1-Career Acceleration Fellowship held by S. K.],
Leverhulme Trust (Fellowship ECF-2011-383 held by
G. S.), MIUR (Italy) via the FIRB project ‘‘SULDIS,’’
projects ELI (Grant No. CZ.1.05/1.1.00/483/02.0061) and
OPVK 3 (Grant No. CZ.1.07/2.3.00/20.0279), and DFG
programs TR18 and GK1203. The authors also
acknowledge support from the target fabrication group
and e-Science facility of RAL-STFC.

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