Scaling laws for laser-driven ion acceleration from nanometer-scale ultrathin foils

X.F. Shen, Bin Qiao, A. Pukhov, S. Kar, S. P. Zhu, M. Borghesi, X. T. He

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Laser-driven ion acceleration has attracted global interest for its potential towards the development of a new generation of compact, low-cost accelerators. Remarkable advances have been seen in recent years with a substantial proton energy increase in experiments, when nanometer-scale ultrathin foil targets and high-contrast intense lasers are applied. However, the exact acceleration dynamics and particularly the ion energy scaling laws in this novel regime are complex and still unclear. Here, we derive a scaling law for the attainable maximum ion energy from such laser-irradiated nanometer-scale foils based on analytical theory and multidimensional particle-in-cell simulations, and further show that this scaling law can be used to accurately describe experimental data over a large range of laser and target parameters on different facilities. This provides crucial references for parameter design and experimentation of the future laser devices towards various potential applications.
Original languageEnglish
Article number025210
Number of pages7
JournalPhysical review. E
Publication statusPublished - 30 Aug 2021


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