Laser driven ion wave breaking acceleration (IWBA) in a plasma wake field is investigated with the help of particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations and theoretical methods. IWBA operates in relativistic self-transparent plasma for laser intensities in the range of 1020-1023W/cm2. When propagating a laser pulse in a transparent plasma, a co-moving cold ion wave is produced due to ion oscillation. When driven strongly, the oscillation is nonlinear and eventually breaks. Then a fraction of ions is self-injected into the laser driven wake. The wakefield is square-wave like and sensitive to the injected ions. After an injection, the wake weakens and then there is no further injection. This leads to a superior ion pulse with peaked energy spectra; in particular in realistic three-dimensional (3D) geometry, the injection occurs localized close to the laser axis producing highly directed bunches.
B. Liu, J. Meyer-ter-Vehn, H. Ruhl, and K.-U. Bamberg, "Ion wave breaking acceleration: study of breaking dynamics and finite trapping," Proc. SPIE 10240, Laser Acceleration of Electrons, Protons, and Ions IV, 1024005 (Presented at SPIE Optics + Optoelectronics: April 24, 2017; Published: 7 May 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2263966.
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