The iodine laser at PALS Laboratory in Prague, operating at 1315 nm fundamental harmonics and at 300 ps FWHM pulse length, is employed to irradiate thin hydrogenated targets placed in vacuum at intensities on the order of 1016 Wcm2. The laser-generated plasma is investigated in terms of proton and ion emission in the forward and backward directions. The time-of-flight technique, using ion collectors and semiconductor detectors, is used to measure the ion currents and the corresponding velocities and energies. Thomson parabola spectrometer is employed to separate the contribution of the ion emission from single laser shots. A particular attention is given to the proton production in terms of the maximum energy, emission yield, and angular distribution as a function of the laser energy, focal position, target thickness, and composition. Metallic and polymeric targets allow to generate protons with large energy range and different yield, depending on the laser, target composition, and target geometry properties.
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