Phase locked multiple rings in the radiation pressure ion acceleration process

Y. Wan, J. F. Hua, C. H. Pai, F. Li, Y. P. Wu, W. Lu, C. J. Zhang, X. L. Xu, C. Joshi, W. B. Mori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Laser contrast plays a crucial role for obtaining high quality ion beams in the radiation pressure ion acceleration (RPA) process. Through one- and two-dimensional particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations, we show that a plasma with a bi-peak density profile can be produced from a thin foil on the effects of a picosecond prepulse, and it can then lead to distinctive modulations in the ion phase space (phase locked double rings) when the main pulse interacts with the target. These fascinating ion dynamics are mainly due to the trapping effect from the ponderomotive potential well of a formed moving standing wave (i.e. the interference between the incoming pulse and the pulse reflected by a slowly moving surface) at nodes, quite different from the standard RPA process. A theoretical model is derived to explain the underlying mechanism, and good agreements have been achieved with PIC simulations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number044016
JournalPlasma Physics and Controlled Fusion
Issue number4
StatePublished - 5 Mar 2018


  • phase locked multiple rings
  • picosecond prepulse
  • radiation pressure acceleration
  • standing wave


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