Skip to main content Accessibility help

Characterization of laser-driven electron and photon beams using the Monte Carlo code FLUKA

  • F. Fiorini (a1), D. Neely (a2), R.J. Clarke (a2) and S. Green (a3)


We present a new simulation method to predict the maximum possible yield of X-rays produced by electron beams accelerated by petawatt lasers irradiating thick solid targets. The novelty of the method lies in the simulation of the electron refiluxing inside the target implemented with the Monte Carlo code Fluka. The mechanism uses initial theoretical electron spectra, cold targets and refiluxing electrons forced to re-enter the target iteratively. Collective beam plasma effects are not implemented in the simulation. Considering the maximum X-ray yield obtained for a given target thickness and material, the relationship between the irradiated target mass thickness and the initial electron temperature is determined, as well as the effect of the refiluxing on X-ray yield. The presented study helps to understand which electron temperature should be produced in order to generate a particular X-ray beam. Several applications, including medical and security imaging, could benefit from laser generated X-ray beams, so an understanding of the material and the thickness maximizing the yields or producing particular spectral characteristics is necessary. On the other more immediate hand, if this study is experimentally reproduced at the beginning of an experiment in which there is an interest in laser-driven electron and/or photon beams, it can be used to check that the electron temperature is as expected according to the laser parameters.


Corresponding author

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: F. Fiorini, Gray Institute for Radiation Oncology and Biology, Department of Oncology, University of Oxford, Roosevelt Drive, Oxford, OX3 7DQ, UK. E-mail: or


Hide All
Battistoni, G, Muraro, S., Sala, P.R., Cerutti, F., Ferrari, A., Roesler, S., Fassò, A. & Ranft, J. (2007). The FLUKA code: Description and benchmarking. AIP Confer. Proc. 896, 3149.
Beg, F.N., Bell, A.R., Dangor, A.E., Danson, C.N., Fews, A.P., Glinsky, M.E., Hammel, B.A., Lee, P., Norreys, P.A. & Tatarakis, M. (1997). A study of picosecond laser-solid interactions up to 1019 Wcm−2. Phys. Plasmas 4, 447457.
Bell, A.R., Davies, J.R., Guerin, S. & Ruhl, H. (1997). Fast-electron transport in high-intensity short-pulse laser-solid experiments. Plasma Phys. Contr. Fusion 39, 653.
Chen, H. & Wilks, S.C. (2005). Evidence of enhanced effective hot electron temperatures in ultraintense laser-solid interactions due to reflexing. Laser Part. Beams-Pulse Power & High Energy Densities 23, 411416.
Cho, B.I., Osterholz, J., Bernstein, A.C., Dyer, G.M., Karmakar, A., PUnited Kingdomhov, A. & Ditmire, T. (2009). Characterization of two distinct, simultaneous hot electron beams in intense laser-solid interactions. Phys. Rev. E 80, 055402.
Coury, M., Carroll, D.C., Robinson, A.P.L., Yuan, X.H., Brenner, C.M., Burza, M., Gray, R.J., Quinn, M.N., Lancaster, K.L., Li, Y.T., et al. (2012). Influence of laser irradiated spot size on energetic electron injection and proton acceleration in foil targets. Appl. Phys. Lett. 100, 074105–074105.
Daido, H., Nishiuchi, M. & Pirozhkov, A.S. (2012). Review of laser-driven ion sources and their applications. Reports Progr. Phys. 75, 056401.
Eliezer, S. (2002) The interaction of high-power lasers with plasmas. New York: Taylor & Francis.
Fassò, A., Ferrari, A., Ranft, J. & Sala, P.R. (2005). FLUKA: a multi-particle transport code. CERN-2005-10. INFN/TC_05/11, SLAC-R-773.
Fiorini, F. (2012). Experimental and computational dosimetry of laser-driven radiation beams. PhD thesis, Birmingham:, University of Birmingham.
Fiorini, F., Kirby, D., Borghesi, M., Doria, D., Jeynes, J.C.G., Kakolee, K.F., Kar, S., Litt, S.K., Kirkby, K.J., Merchant, M.J. & Green, S. (2011). Dosimetry and spectral analysis of a radiobiological experiment using laser-driven proton beams. Phys. Med. Biol. 56, 69696982.
Freidberg, J.P., Mitchell, R.W., Morse, R.L. & Rudsinski, L.I. (1972). Resonant absorption of laser light by plasma targets. Phys. Rev. Lett. 28, 795799.
Galy, J., Maučec, M., Hamilton, D.J., Edwards, R. & Magill, J. (2007). Bremsstrahlung production with high-intensity laser matter interactions and applications. New J. Phys. 9, 23.
Glinec, Y., Faure, J., Dain, L.L., Darbon, S., Hosokai, T., Santos, J.J., Lefebvre, E., Rousseau, J.P., Burgy, F., Mercier, B., et al. (2005). High-resolution γ-ray radiography produced by a laser-plasma driven electron source. Phys. Rev. Lett. 94, 25003.
Gray, R.J., Yuan, X.H., Carroll, D.C., Brenner, C.M., Coury, M., Quinn, M.N., Tresca, O., Zielbauer, B., Aurand, B., Bagnoud, V., et al. (2011). Surface transport of energetic electrons in intense picosecond laser-foil interactions. Appl. Phys. Lett. 99, 171502–171502.
Kruer, W.L. & Dawson, J.M. (1989). The physics of laser plasma interactions. Phys. Today 42, 69.
Ledingham, K.W.D. & Galster, W. (2010). Laser-driven particle and photon beams and some applications. New J. Phys. 12, 045005.
Myatt, J., Theobald, W., Delettrez, J.A., Stoeckl, C., Storm, M., Sangster, T.C., Maximov, A.V. & Short, R.W. (2007). High-intensity laser interactions with mass-limited solid targets and implications for fast-ignition experiments on OMEGA EP. Phys. Plasmas 14, 056301.
Nilson, P.M., Davies, J.R., Theobald, W., Jaanimagi, P.A., Mileham, C., Jungquist, R.K., Stoeckl, C., Begishev, I.A., Solodov, A.A., Myatt, J.F., Zuegel, J.D., Sangster, T.C., Betti, R. & Meyerhofer, D.D. (2012). Time-resolved measurements of hot-electron equilibration dynamics in high-intensity laser interactions with thin-foil solid targets. Phys. Rev. Lett. 108, 085002.
Nishikino, M., Sato, K., Ohshima, S., Hasegawa, N., Ishino, M., Kawachi, T., Okano, Y., Numasaki, H., Teshima, T. & Nishimura, H. (2009). Development of focused laser plasma x-ray beam for radiobiological applications. Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics/Pacific Rim. Optical Society of America.
Norreys, P.A., Scott, R.H.H., Lancaster, K.L., Green, J.S., Robinson, A.P.L., Sherlock, M., Evans, R.G., Haines, M.G., Kar, S., Zepf, M., et al. (2009). Recent fast electron energy transport experiments relevant to fast ignition inertial fusion. Nucl. Fusion 49, 104023.
Perry, M.D., Sefcik, J.A., Cowan, T., Hatchett, S., Hunt, A., Moran, M., Pennington, D., Snavely, R. & Wilks, S.C. (1999). Hard X-ray production from high intensity laser solid interactions. Rev. Scientif. Instr. 70, 265.
Quinn, M.N., Yuan, X.H., Lin, X.X., Carroll, D.C., Tresca, O., Gray, R.J., Coury, M., Li, C., Li, Y.T., Brenner, C.M., et al. (2011). Refluxing of fast electrons in solid targets irradiated by intense, picosecond laser pulses. Plasma Phys. Contr. Fusion 53, 025007.
Santala, M.I.K., Zepf, M., Watts, I., Beg, F.N., Clark, E., Tatarakis, M., Krushelnick, K., Dangor, A.E., McCanny, T., Spencer, I., et al. (2000). Effect of the plasma density scale length on the direction of fast electrons in relativistic laser-solid interactions. Phys. Rev. Lett. 84, 14591462.
Wilks, S.C., Kruer, W.L., Tabak, M. & Langdon, A.B. (1992). ”Absorption of ultra-intense laser pulses. Phys. Rev. Lett. 69, 13831386.
Wilks, S.C., Langdon, A.B., Cowan, T.E., Roth, M., Singh, M., Hatchett, S., Key, M.H., Pennington, D., MacKinnon, A. & Snavely, R.A. (2001). Energetic proton generation in ultra-intense laser–solid interactions. Phys. Plasmas 8, 542.


Characterization of laser-driven electron and photon beams using the Monte Carlo code FLUKA

  • F. Fiorini (a1), D. Neely (a2), R.J. Clarke (a2) and S. Green (a3)


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed