Research Papers in Physics and Astronomy


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Published by Interperiodica; Plasma Phys. Reports 30, 473 (2004). Copyright 2004. Permission to use.


This paper reviews the many recent advances at the Center for Ultrafast Optical Science (CUOS) at the University of Michigan in multi-MeV ion beam generation from the interaction of short laser pulses focused onto thin foil targets at intensities ranging from 1017 to 1019 W/cm2. Ion beam characteristics were studied by changing the laser intensity, laser wavelength, target material, and by depositing a well-absorbed coating. We manipulated the proton beam divergence using shaped targets and observed nuclear transformation induced by high-energy protons and deuterons. Qualitative theoretical approaches and fully relativistic two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations modeled energetic ion generation. Comparison with experiments sheds light on ion energy spectra for multi-species plasma, the dependences of ion-energy on preplasma scale length and solid density plasma thickness, and laser-triggered isotope yield. Theoretical predictions are also made with the aim of studying ion generation for high-power lasers with the energies expected in the near future, and for the relativistic intensity table-top laser, a prototype of which is already in operation at CUOS in the limits of several cycle pulse duration and a single-wavelength spot size.

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