Enhanced laser-driven ion acceleration in the relativistic transparency regime

A. Henig, D. Kiefer, K. Markey, D. C. Gautier, K. A. Flippo, S. Letzring, R. P. Johnson, T. Shimada, L. Yin, B. J. Albright, K. J. Bowers, J. C. Fernández, S. G. Rykovanov, H. C. Wu, M. Zepf, D. Jung, V. K. Liechtenstein, J. Schreiber, D. Habs, B. M. Hegelich

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201 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We report on the acceleration of ion beams from ultrathin diamondlike carbon foils of thickness 50, 30, and 10nm irradiated by ultrahigh contrast laser pulses at intensities of ∼7×1019W/cm2. An unprecedented maximum energy of 185MeV (15MeV/u) for fully ionized carbon atoms is observed at the optimum thickness of 30nm. The enhanced acceleration is attributed to self-induced transparency, leading to strong volumetric heating of the classically overdense electron population in the bulk of the target. Our experimental results are supported by both particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations and an analytical model.

Original languageEnglish
Article number045002
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Volume103
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Aug 2009
Externally publishedYes

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