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Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys. 2008 Aug;78(2 Pt 2):026412. Epub 2008 Aug 22.

Accelerating monoenergetic protons from ultrathin foils by flat-top laser pulses in the directed-Coulomb-explosion regime.

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  • 1FOCUS Center and Center for Ultrafast Optical Science, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109, USA.


We consider the effect of laser beam shaping on proton acceleration in the interaction of a tightly focused pulse with ultrathin double-layer solid targets in the regime of directed Coulomb explosion. In this regime, the heavy ions of the front layer are forced by the laser to expand predominantly in the direction of the pulse propagation, forming a moving longitudinal charge separation electric field, thus increasing the effectiveness of acceleration of second-layer protons. The utilization of beam shaping, namely, the use of flat-top beams, leads to more efficient proton acceleration due to the increase of the longitudinal field.

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