Laser Radiation Pressure Accelerator for Quasi-Monoenergetic Proton Generation and Its Medical Implications

  • C. S. Liu
  • X. Shao
  • T. C. Liu
  • J. J. Su
  • M. Q. He
  • B. Eliasson
  • V. K. Tripathi
  • G. Dudnikova
  • R. Z. Sagdeev
  • S. Wilks
  • C. D. Chen
  • Z. M. Sheng
Chapter
Part of the Springer Series in Chemical Physics book series (CHEMICAL, volume 103)

Abstract

Laser radiation pressure acceleration (RPA) of ultrathin foils of subwavelength thickness provides an efficient means of quasi-monoenergetic proton generation. With an optimal foil thickness, the ponderomotive force of the intense short-pulse laser beam pushes the electrons to the edge of the foil, while balancing the electric field due to charge separation. The electron and proton layers form a self-organized plasma double layer and are accelerated by the radiation pressure of the laser, the so-called light sail. However, the Rayleigh–Taylor instability can limit the acceleration and broaden the energy of the proton beam. Two-dimensional particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations have shown that the formation of finger-like structures due to the nonlinear evolution of the Rayleigh–Taylor instability limits the acceleration and leads to a leakage of radiation through the target by self-induced transparency. We here review the physics of quasi-monoenergetic proton generation by RPA and recent advances in the studies of energy scaling of RPA, and discuss the RPA of multi-ion and gas targets. The scheme for generating quasi-monoenergetic protons with RPA has the potential of leading to table-top accelerators as sources for producing monoenergetic 50–250 MeV protons. We also discuss potential medical implications, such as particle therapy for cancer treatment, using quasi-monoenergetic proton beams generated from RPA. Compact monoenergetic ion sources also have applications in many other areas such as high-energy particle physics, space electronics radiation testing, and fast ignition in laser fusion.

Keywords

Proton Beam Proton Therapy Ponderomotive Force Energetic Proton Particle Therapy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgements

We thank helpful discussions with A. Ting (Navel Research Laboratory) and J. W. Wong (John Hopkins University).

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. S. Liu
    • 1
  • X. Shao
    • 1
  • T. C. Liu
    • 1
  • J. J. Su
    • 1
  • M. Q. He
    • 1
  • B. Eliasson
    • 1
    • 3
  • V. K. Tripathi
    • 1
    • 4
  • G. Dudnikova
    • 1
  • R. Z. Sagdeev
    • 1
  • S. Wilks
    • 5
  • C. D. Chen
    • 5
  • Z. M. Sheng
    • 2
    • 6
  1. 1.East-West Space Science CenterUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkUSA
  2. 2.Department of PhysicsShanghai Jiao Tong UniversityShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Ruhr-University BochumBochumGermany
  4. 4.Indian Institute of TechnologyNew DelhiIndia
  5. 5.Lawrence Livermore National LaboratoryLivermoreUSA
  6. 6. Beijing National Laboratory for Condensed Matter PhysicsInstitute of Physics, CASBeijingPeople’s Republic of China

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