H. Morita, A. Arefiev, T. Toncian, J. J. Santos, D. Golovin, S. Shokita, T. Mori, K. Farley Law, H. Li, R. Takizawa, K. Matsuo, A. Morace, A. Yogo, and S. Fujioka, "Application of laser-driven capacitor-coil to target normal sheath acceleration", High Energy Density Physics 37, 100874 (2020).
A laser-driven accelerator generates protons with tens of MeV in energy by a compact, strong, and transient accelerating electric field produced by laser--plasma interactions at relativistic intensities. In previous studies, two- and three-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations revealed that the application of a kT-level axial magnetic field results in an enhancement of proton acceleration via the target normal sheath acceleration mechanism due to reduced lateral electron divergence and improved electron heating efficiency. An experimental investigation of this scheme on the GEKKO-XII and the LFEX facilities found that the number and maximum energy of the accelerated protons decreased with increasing the temporal delay between the pulse driving the external magnetic-field and the pulse accelerating the protons, contrary to the theoretical and numerical expectations. We identify sources responsible for the degradation of the proton beam performance and we propose an alternative experimental setup to mitigate the degradation in future experiments.
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