High Energy Ion Acceleration by Extreme Laser Radiation Pressure
Technical Report,01 May 2013,31 Dec 2016
UNIVERSITY OF STRATHCLYDE VIZ ROYAL COLLEGE OF SCIENCE and TECHNOLOGY GLASGOW United Kingdom
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A number of scientific breakthroughs were achieved on the topic of high power laser-driven ion acceleration and underpinning physics over the three-year duration of the grant. The most notable of these were published in high impact papers in Nature group journals and the leading physics journal, Physical Review Letters. Amongst the highlights is the experimental and numerical demonstration that during the interaction of an ultra-intense laser pulse with an ultrathin foil target, a relativistic plasma aperture is produced, which can be used to control of the collective plasma electron motion via diffraction of the laser light. While this can reduce the effectiveness of the radiation pressure mechanism responsible for ion acceleration, it can also lead to additional acceleration mechanisms and optical control of the resultant ion beams. This work has been published in the leading international physics journal Nature Physics, and a related paper on the resulting influence of this relativistic plasma aperture on the accelerated ion dynamics has been published in Nature Communications. These results build on an earlier paper arising from the project investigating elliptical and lobe-like electron beam structures from ultrathin targets, published in New Journal of Physics. An additional follow-up paper with more detailed analysis of the electron behavior occurring from this aperture was also published in High Power Laser Science and Engineering.
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