Effects of nanosecond-scale prepulse on generation of high-energy protons in target normal sheath acceleration

Wang, W. P.; Shen, B. F.; Zhang, H.; Xu, Y.; Li, Y. Y.; Lu, X. M.; Wang, C.; Liu, Y. Q.; Lu, J. X.; Shi, Y.; Leng, Y. X.; Liang, X. Y.; Li, R. X.; Wang, N. Y.; Xu, Z. Z.
June 2013
Applied Physics Letters;6/3/2013, Vol. 102 Issue 22, p224101
Academic Journal
A pulse cleaner based on noncollinear optical-parametric amplification and second-harmonic generation processes is used to improve the contrast of a laser of peak intensity ∼2 × 1019 W/cm2 to ∼1011 at 100 ps before the peak of the main pulse. A 7 MeV proton beam is observed when a 2.5 μm-thick Al foil is irradiated by this high-contrast laser. The maximum proton energy decreases to 2.9 MeV when a low-contrast (∼108) laser is used. Two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations combined with MULTI simulations show that the maximum proton energy sensitively relies on the detecting direction. The ns-time-scale prepulse can bend a thin target before the main pulse arrives, which reduces maximum proton energy in the target normal sheath acceleration.


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