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Comparison of femtosecond laser-driven proton acceleration using nanometer and micrometer thick target foils

  • M. Schnürer (a1), A.A. Andreev (a1) (a2), S. Steinke (a1), T. Sokollik (a1) (a3) (a4), T. Paasch-Colberg (a5), P.V. Nickles (a6), A. Henig (a5) (a7), D. Jung (a5) (a7), D. Kiefer (a5) (a7), R. Hörlein (a5) (a7), J. Schreiber (a5) (a7), T. Tajima (a5) (a8), D. Habs (a5) (a7) and W. Sandner (a1) (a9)...


Advancement of ion acceleration by intense laser pulses is studied with ultra-thin nanometer-thick diamond like carbon and micrometer-thick Titanium target foils. Both investigations aim at optimizing the electron density distribution which is the key for efficient laser driven ion acceleration. While recently found maximum ion energies achieved with ultra-thin foils mark record values micrometer thick foils are flexible in terms of atomic constituents. Electron recirculation is one prerequisite for the validity of a very simple model that can approximate the dependence of ion energies of nanometer-thick targets when all electrons of the irradiated target area interact coherently with the laser pulse and Coherent Acceleration of Ions by Laser pulses (CAIL) becomes dominant. Complementary experiments, an analytical model and particle in cell computer simulations show, that with regard to ultra-short laser pulses (duration ~45 fs at intensities up to 5 × 1019 W/cm2) and a micrometer-thick target foil with higher atomic number a close to linear increase of ion energies manifests in a certain range of laser intensities.


Corresponding author

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Matthias Schnürer, Max-Born-Institut, Max-Born-Straße 2a, 12489 Berlin, Germany. E-mail:


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