Laser proton acceleration in a water spray target

Ter-Avetisyan, S.; Schnürer, M.; Nickles, P. V.; Smirnov, M. B.; Sandner, W.; Andreev, A.; Platonov, K.; Psikal, J.; Tikhonchuk, V.
August 2008
Physics of Plasmas;Aug2008, Vol. 15 Issue 8, p083106
Academic Journal
Studies of interaction of a cloud of submicrometer water droplets with ultrashort (40 fs) and intense (∼2×1019 W/cm2) laser pulses demonstrate an efficient acceleration of protons and oxygen ions. Due to a high ratio of the volume to the enveloping surface of a single droplet and a large number of droplets in a focal volume, efficient laser pulse absorption is enabled, which provides high electron temperatures and ion acceleration to high energies. The generation of ions with energies more than 1 MeV per nucleon is demonstrated. The observed quasi-monoenergetic feature in the proton spectrum is discussed with the thermal expansion–Coulomb explosion model and numerical simulations.


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