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High-energy proton generation and suppression of transverse proton divergence by localized electrons in a laser-foil interaction.

Research paper by S S Miyazaki, S S Kawata, R R Sonobe, T T Kikuchi

Indexed on: 11 Aug '05Published on: 11 Aug '05Published in: Physical review. E, Statistical, nonlinear, and soft matter physics



Abstract

A suppression of a transverse divergence of high-energy protons generated by an interaction of a laser with a thin slab foil is investigated in this paper by 2.5-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations. When an intense (approximately 10(24) W/m(2)) short-pulse (a few ten femtoseconds) laser illuminates a thin foil target of a hydrogen, foil electrons are accelerated and compressed longitudinally by a laser light pressure and fast electron bunches are produced in the thin foil target. The fast electron bunches pass through the foil target, and a strong magnetic field is produced near the opposite side of the foil target. Because the strong magnetic field confines the electrons, a localization of the electrons is observed at the opposite side of a laser illumination surface. The local electron bunch produces not only a longitudinal electric field, but also a transverse electric field, which is directed toward the laser axis. Protons are accelerated and extracted from the foil, and the proton bunch divergence is successfully suppressed by the transverse electric field.