Ion acceleration in electrostatic collisionless shock: on the optimal density profile for quasi-monoenergetic beams.
A numerical study on ion acceleration in electrostatic shock waves is presented, with the aim of determining the best plasma configuration to achieve quasi-monoenergetic ion beams in laser-driven systems. It was recently shown that tailored near-critical density plasmas characterized by a long-scale decreasing rear density profile lead to beams with low energy spread [F. Fi\'uza et al., Physical Review Letters 109, 215001 (2012)]. In this work, a detailed parameter scan investigating different plasma scale lengths is carried out. As result, the optimal plasma spatial scale length that allows for minimizing the energy spread while ensuring a significant reflection of ions by the shock is identified. Furthermore, a new configuration where the required profile has been obtained by coupling micro layers of different densities is proposed. Results show that this new engineered approach is a valid alternative, guaranteeing a low energy spread with a higher level of controllability.
Publisher URL: http://arxiv.org/abs/1709.04098