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Report No.

Feasibility of a laser-driven, ground-based proton source to simulate the space environment for semiconductors

Bolton, P.

Advancements in laser technology have enabled much exploration of laser-driven ion acceleration over the past decade. Most investigations have focused on laser-induced plasmas in solid planar targets as the compact source of protons that can be accelerated to ten's of MeV energies with adequate laser intensities. For example proton energies up to 20 MeV can be generated with readily available commercial laser systems (for example, only one joule (25 terawatts) of laser pulse energy (peak power) focused to about 5 $$times$$ 10$$^{19}$$ Watts/cm$$^{2}$$). Single pulse laser irradiation of a source typically yields emitted proton bunches (from the downstream surface) with high charge (nC or more) and high peak current. Typical emission features also include large angular divergence ($$sim$$10 degree full angle) and large energy spread ($$sim$$100 %). At the Photo-Medical Research Center (PMRC) of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency we have reached maximum proton energies near 14 MeV in recent experiments for which single laser pulse yields at 10 MeV are at the $$sim$$10$$^{6}$$ protons/MeV level. I will describe our current capability and laser system requirements for generating sources that can simulate the proton environment in space for ground-based semiconductor studies.



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