Energy-chirp compensation of laser-driven ion beams enabled by structured targets

Publication type

Z. Gong, S. S. Bulanov, T. Toncian, and A. Arefiev, "Energy-chirp compensation of laser-driven ion beams enabled by structured targets", Phys. Rev. Research 4, L042031 (2022).


We show using three-dimensional (3D) simulations that the challenge of generating dense monoenergetic laser-driven ion beams with low angular divergence can be overcome by utilizing structured targets with a relativistically transparent channel and an overdense wall. In contrast to a uniform target that produces a chirped ion beam, the target structure facilitates the formation of a dense electron bunch whose longitudinal electric field reverses the energy chirp. This approach works in conjunction with existing acceleration mechanisms, augmenting the ion spectra. For example, our 3D simulations predict a significant improvement for a 2 PW laser pulse with a peak intensity of 5×1022 W/cm2. The simulations show a monoenergetic proton peak in a highly desirable energy range of 200 MeV with an unprecedented charge of several nC and a relatively low divergence that is below 10o.