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Collimation of laser-driven energetic protons in a capillary

  • D.-P. CHEN (a1), Y. YIN (a1), Z.-Y. GE (a1), H. XU (a2), H.-B. ZHUO (a1), Y.-Y. MA (a1), F.-Q. SHAO (a1) and C.-L. TIAN (a1)...

Abstract

Energetic divergent proton beams can be generated in the interaction of ultra-intense laser pulses with solid-density foil targets via target normal sheath acceleration (TNSA). In this paper, a scheme using a capillary to reduce the proton beam divergence is proposed. By two-dimensional particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations, it is shown that strong transverse electric and magnetic fields rapidly grow at the inner surface of the capillary when the laser-driven hot electrons propagate through the target and into the capillary. The spontaneous magnetic field collimates the electron flow, and the ions dragged from the capillary wall by hot electrons neutralize the negative charge and thus restrain the transverse extension of the sheath field set up by electrons. The proton beam divergence, which is mainly determined by the accelerating sheath field, is therefore reduced by the transverse limitation of the sheath field in the capillary.

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