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Ion acceleration in overdense plasma by short laser pulse

  • O. SHOROKHOV (a1) and A. PUKHOV (a1)

Abstract

We consider ion acceleration at the front surface of overdense plasma by a short laser pulse. In this configuration, the laser ponderomotive pressure pushes the background electrons, and a double layer is produced at the boundary of the overdense region. The ions are accelerated by the electrostatic field of the double layer. If the laser intensity is so large that the plasma becomes relativistically transparent, then ion trapping in the running double layer and acceleration to relativistic energies is possible. We study this physics using one-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations. Ion acceleration in one- and two-component plasmas is considered. It is shown that the proton acceleration is more effective when they represent only a small dope to the heavy background ions.

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Corresponding author

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: O. Shorokhov, Institut für Theoretische Physik I, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, D-40225, Germany. E-mail: oleg@thphy.uni-duesseldorf.de

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Keywords

Ion acceleration in overdense plasma by short laser pulse

  • O. SHOROKHOV (a1) and A. PUKHOV (a1)

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