Reaching high flux in laser-driven ion acceleration*
1 Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems, Nöthnitzer Str. 38, 01187 Dresden, Germany
2 Department of Physics, Chalmers University of Technology, 41296 Göteborg, Sweden
3 Institute of Applied Physics, Russian Academy of Sciences, 603950 Nizhny Novgorod, Russia
4 Lobachevsky State University of Nizhni Novgorod, 603950 Nizhny Novgorod, Russia
Received: 16 March 2017
Received in final form: 17 May 2017
Published online: 3 August 2017
Since the first experimental observation of laser-driven ion acceleration, optimizing the ion beams’ characteristics aiming at levels enabling various key applications has been the primary challenge driving technological and theoretical studies. However, most of the proposed acceleration mechanisms and strategies identified as promising, are focused on providing ever higher ion energies. On the other hand, the ions’ energy is only one of several parameters characterizing the beams’ aptness for any desired application. For example, the usefulness of laser-based ion sources for medical applications such as the renowned hadron therapy, and potentially many more, can also crucially depend on the number of accelerated ions or their flux at a required level of ion energies. In this work, as an example of an up to now widely disregarded beam characteristic, we use theoretical models and numerical simulations to systematically examine and compare the existing proposals for laser-based ion acceleration in their ability to provide high ion fluxes at varying ion energy levels.
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