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Phys Rev Lett. 2005 Apr 29;94(16):165003. Epub 2005 Apr 29.

Laser acceleration of ion bunches at the front surface of overdense plasmas.

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Istituto Nazionale per la Fisica della Materia and POLYLAB, Dipartimento di Fisica E. Fermi, Università di Pisa, Largo B. Pontecorvo 3, 56127 Pisa, Italy.


The acceleration of ions in the interaction of high intensity laser pulses with overdense plasmas is investigated with particle-in-cell simulations. For circular polarization of the laser pulses, high-density ion bunches moving into the plasma are generated at the laser-plasma interaction surface. A simple analytical model accounts for the numerical observations and provides scaling laws for the ion bunch energy and generation time as a function of pulse intensity and plasma density.

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