Proton generation from the interaction of an intense, short pulse laser with a foil target is simulated using the particle-in-cell hybrid code LSP. The efficiencies for proton production are compared for foils having thin coatings of CH, CH2, CH4, and LiH, as well as heavy hydrides such as ErH3. Enhanced efficiencies are found for both light hydrogen-rich compounds and for heavy hydrides, which in the latter case approach the pure H result. A simple model reproduces these results over a wide range of materials.

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