Ultraintense laser pulses with a few-cycle rising edge are ideally suited to accelerating ions from ultrathin foils, and achieving such pulses in practice represents a formidable challenge. We show that such pulses can be obtained using sufficiently strong and well-controlled relativistic nonlinearities in spatially well-defined near-critical-density plasmas. The resulting ultraintense pulses with an extremely steep rising edge give rise to significantly enhanced carbon ion energies consistent with a transition to radiation pressure acceleration.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)