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Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(3), 336; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8030336

Radiation Pressure-Driven Plasma Surface Dynamics in Ultra-Intense Laser Pulse Interactions with Ultra-Thin Foils

1
SUPA Department of Physics, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow G4 0NG, UK
2
Central Laser Facility, STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Oxfordshire OX11 0QX, UK
3
Centre for Plasma Physics, Queens University Belfast, Belfast BT7 1NN, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 December 2017 / Revised: 7 February 2018 / Accepted: 17 February 2018 / Published: 27 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Laser-Driven Particle Acceleration)
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Abstract

The dynamics of the plasma critical density surface in an ultra-thin foil target irradiated by an ultra-intense (∼6 × 10 20 Wcm 2 ) laser pulse is investigated experimentally and via 2D particle-in-cell simulations. Changes to the surface motion are diagnosed as a function of foil thickness. The experimental and numerical results are compared with hole-boring and light-sail models of radiation pressure acceleration, to identify the foil thickness range for which each model accounts for the measured surface motion. Both the experimental and numerical results show that the onset of relativistic self-induced transparency, in the thinnest targets investigated, limits the velocity of the critical surface, and thus the effectiveness of radiation pressure acceleration. View Full-Text
Keywords: relativistic laser-plasma interactions; laser-driven ion acceleration relativistic laser-plasma interactions; laser-driven ion acceleration
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Gonzalez-Izquierdo, B.; Capdessus, R.; King, M.; Gray, R.J.; Wilson, R.; Dance, R.J.; McCreadie, J.; Butler, N.M.H.; Hawkes, S.J.; Green, J.S.; Booth, N.; Borghesi, M.; Neely, D.; McKenna, P. Radiation Pressure-Driven Plasma Surface Dynamics in Ultra-Intense Laser Pulse Interactions with Ultra-Thin Foils. Appl. Sci. 2018, 8, 336.

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