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Enhancement of laser-driven ion acceleration in non-periodic nanostructured targets

Journal article
Authors J. Ferri
I. Thiele
Evangelos Siminos
L. Gremillet
Evgeniya O. Smetanina
Alexandre Dmitriev
G. Cantono
C. G. Wahlstrom
T. Fulop
Published in Journal of Plasma Physics
Volume 86
Issue 1
Pages 12
ISSN 0022-3778
Publication year 2020
Published at Department of Physics (GU)
Pages 12
Language en
Keywords intense particle beams, plasma simulation, proton acceleration, beams, Physics
Subject categories Plasma physics


Using particle-in-cell simulations, we demonstrate an improvement of the target-normal-sheath acceleration (TNSA) of protons in non-periodically nanostructured targets with micron-scale thickness. Compared to standard flat foils, an increase in the proton cutoff energy by up to a factor of two is observed in foils coated with nanocones or perforated with nanoholes. The latter nano-perforated foils yield the highest enhancement, which we show to be robust over a broad range of foil thicknesses and hole diameters. The improvement of TNSA performance results from more efficient hot-electron generation, caused by a more complex laser-electron interaction geometry and increased effective interaction area and duration. We show that TNSA is optimized for a nanohole distribution of relatively low areal density and that is not required to be periodic, thus relaxing the manufacturing constraints.

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