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LULI2000 - Investigation of efficient ion shock acceleration using high enrgy lasers in dense gas jet targets (M. Tarisien)

The advent of high repetition rate laser facilities has trigered a renewed interest in the potential use of laser based ion beams, not only for fundamental research in nuclear physics, astrophysics, etc. but also for societal applications. All of these do not have the same requirements in terms of ion energy and flux. As an example, protontherapy requires high energy proton beams (several hundreds of MeV) but there are several applications which can be achieved with ions of moderate energies (tenths of MeV maximum), such as neutron source development or isotope production. However these developments depend on the ability of laser facilities to deliver well monitored and reproducible high intensity ion beams at high repetition rates.

In this context,our goal is to demonstrate the possibility to accelerate ions to energies of several tens of MeV by optimizing an electrostatic shock-wave acceleration process in a dense gas jet, known as Collisionless Shockwave Acceleration (CSA). The use of a gas jet will uniquely allow high rep-rate, low debris, relaxed laser contrast operation, thus eliminating the need for replacement of solid targets at high-repetition rate; a major concern for upcoming high-rep rate high-power laser facilities, such as APOLLON and ELI. Our objective is not to obtain record energies, but to aid in the development and verification of our models of underdense laser ion acceleration in various density gradients. This will allow us to obtain scaling laws to predict the efficiency of this acceleration process for different applications.

LULI2000 - S29-30 / 2018