Proton acceleration from the interaction of high contrast, 25 fs laser pulses at intensity with plastic foils covered with a single layer of regularly packed micro-spheres has been investigated experimentally. The proton cut-off energy has been measured as a function of the micro-sphere size and laser incidence angle for different substrate thickness, and for both P and S polarization. The presence of micro-spheres with a size comparable to the laser wavelength allows to increase the proton cut-off energy for both polarizations at small angles of incidence (10∘). For large angles of incidence, however, proton energy enhancement with respect to flat targets is absent. Analysis of electron trajectories in particle-in-cell simulations highlights the role of the surface geometry in the heating of electrons.
Micro-sphere layered targets efficiency in laser driven proton acceleration
V. Floquet, O. Klimo, J. Psikal, A. Velyhan, J. Limpouch, J. Proska, F. Novotny, L. Stolcova, A. Macchi, A. Sgattoni, L. Vassura, L. Labate, F. Baffigi, L. A. Gizzi, Ph. Martin, T. Ceccotti; Micro-sphere layered targets efficiency in laser driven proton acceleration. J. Appl. Phys. 28 August 2013; 114 (8): 083305. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4819239
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