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An automated, 0.5Â Hz nano-foil target positioning system for intense laser plasma experiments

Abstract

We report on a target system supporting automated positioning of nano-targets with a precision resolution of in three dimensions. It relies on a confocal distance sensor and a microscope. The system has been commissioned to position nanometer targets with 1Â Hz repetition rate. Integrating our prototype into the table-top ATLAS 300 TW-laser system at the Laboratory for Extreme Photonics in Garching, we demonstrate the operation of a 0.5Â Hz laser-driven proton source with a shot-to-shot variation of the maximum energy about 27% for a level of confidence of 0.95. The reason of laser shooting experiments operated at 0.5Â Hz rather than 1Â Hz is because the synchronization between the nano-foil target positioning system and the laser trigger needs to improve.

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