Collimated GeV proton beam generated by the interaction of ultra-intense laser with a uniform near-critical underdense plasma
Applied Ion Beam Physics Laboratory, Key Laboratory of the Ministry of Education, Institute of Modern Physics, Fudan University - Shanghai 200433, PRC
2 Department of Advanced Interdisciplinary Sciences, Utsunomiya University - Yohtoh 7-1-2, Utsunomiya 321-8585, Japan
Accepted: 16 June 2011
An ultra-intense short-pulsed laser interacting with a uniform underdense plasma with near-critical density is investigated by 2.5-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations. It is found that a collimated proton beam with maximum energy up to the GeV was generated. The corresponding proton acceleration mechanism is analyzed. The laser wakefield acceleration (LWFA) electrons play an important role as a driving beam. Due to the features of LWFA electrons, quasi-monoenergetic distribution and good collimation, the protons can be accelerated for a long distance by the charge-separated electric field. The proton beam in this regime is also well collimated and the amount can reach several nC. Moreover, it is found that the LWFA electrons can overtake the laser and stand quasi-synchronized in the center of pulse. Therefore the electrons can absorb energy from the laser and transfer it to the protons like in the break-out afterburner (BOA) scheme in laser irradiated on ultra-thin film target.
PACS: 52.38.Kd – Laser-plasma acceleration of electrons and ions / 52.35.Mw – Nonlinear phenomena: waves, wave propagation, and other interactions (including parametric effects, mode coupling, ponderomotive effects, etc.) / 41.75.Jv – Laser-driven acceleration
© EPLA, 2011