Two-stage laser acceleration of high quality protons using a tailored density plasma

Y. Wan, I. A. Andriyash, J. F. Hua, C. H. Pai, W. Lu, W. B. Mori, C. Joshi, V. Malka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


A new scheme for a laser-driven proton accelerator based on a sharply tailored near-critical-density plasma target is proposed. The designed plasma profile allows for the laser channeling of the dense plasma, which triggers a two-stage acceleration of protons - first accelerated by the laser acting as a snowplow in plasma, and then by the collisionless shock launched from the sharp density downramp. Thanks to laser channeling in the near-critical plasma, the formed shock is radially small and collimated. This allows it to generate a significant space-charge field, which acts as a monochromator, defocusing the lower energy protons while the highest ones remain collimated. Our theoretical and numerical analysis demonstrates production of high-energy proton beams with few tens of percent energy spread, few degrees divergence angle and charge up to few nC. With a PW-class ultrashort laser this scheme predicts the generation of such high quality proton beams with energies up to several hundreds of MeV.

Original languageEnglish
Article number021301
JournalPhysical Review Accelerators and Beams
Issue number2
StatePublished - 5 Feb 2019


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