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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Optimized laser pulse profile for efficient radiation pressure acceleration of ions

  • Author(s): Bulanov, SS
  • Schroeder, CB
  • Esarey, E
  • Leemans, WP
  • et al.

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The radiation pressure acceleration regime of laser ion acceleration requires high intensity laser pulses to function efficiently. Moreover, the foil should be opaque for incident radiation during the interaction to ensure maximum momentum transfer from the pulse to the foil, which requires proper matching of the target to the laser pulse. However, in the ultrarelativistic regime, this leads to large acceleration distances, over which the high laser intensity for a Gaussian laser pulse must be maintained. It is shown that proper tailoring of the laser pulse profile can significantly reduce the acceleration distance, leading to a compact laser ion accelerator, requiring less energy to operate. © 2012 American Institute of Physics.

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