Proton emission from a laser ion source.
ABSTRACT At intensities of the order of 10(10) W∕cm(2), ns pulsed lasers can be employed to ablate solid bulk targets in order to produce high emission of ions at different charge state and kinetic energy. A special interest is devoted to the production of protons with controllable energy and current from a roto-translating target irradiated in repetition rate at 1-10 Hz by a Nd:Yag pulsed laser beam. Different hydrogenated targets based on polymers and hydrates were irradiated in high vacuum. Special nanostrucutres can be embedded in the polymers in order to modify the laser absorption properties and the amount of protons to be accelerated in the plasma. For example, carbon nanotubes may increase the laser absorption and the hydrogen absorption to generate high proton yields from the plasma. Metallic nanostrucutres may increase the electron density of the plasma and the kinetic energy of the accelerated protons. Ion collectors, ion energy analyzer, and mass spectrometers, used in time-of-flight configuration, were employed to characterize the ion beam properties. A comparison with traditional proton ion source is presented and discussed.