[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We show that a spatially well-defined layer of boron dopants in a hydrogen-enriched silicon target allows the production of a high yield of alpha particles of around 10^9 per steradian using a nanosecond, low-contrast laser pulse with a nominal intensity of approximately 3×10^16 W/ cm^ −2 . This result can be ascribed to the nature of the long laser-pulse interaction with the target and with the expanding plasma, as well as to the optimal target geometry and composition. The possibility of an impact on future applications such as nuclear fusion without production of neutron-induced radioactivity and compact ion accelerators is anticipated.
Physical Review X 08/2014; 4:031030. · 8.39 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Thomson Spectrometers (TPs) are widely used for beam diagnostic as they provide simultaneous information on charge over mass ratio, energy and momentum of detected ions. A new TP design has been realized at INFN-LNS within the LILIA (Laser Induced Light Ion Acceleration) and ELIMED (MEDical application at ELI-Beamlines) projects. This paper reports on the construction details of the TP and on its experimental tests performed at PALS laboratory in Prague, with the ASTERIX IV laser system. Reported data are obtained with polyethylene and polyvinyl alcohol solid targets, they have been compared with data obtained from other detectors. Consistency among results confirms the correct functioning of the new TP. The main features, characterizing the design, are a wide acceptance of the deflection sector and a tunability of the, partially overlapping, magnetic and electric fields that allow to resolve ions with energy up to about 40 MeV for protons.
Journal of Instrumentation 08/2014; 9(08):T08001. · 1.66 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: ELI-Beamlines is one of the four pillars of the ELI (Extreme Light Infrastructure) pan-European project. It will be an ultrahigh-intensity, high repetition-rate, femtosecond laser facility whose main goals are the generation and applications of high-brightness X-ray sources and accelerated charged particles. In particular medical and multidisciplinary applications with laser-accelerated beams are treated by the ELIMED task force, a collaboration between different research institutes. A crucial goal for this network is represented by the design and the realization of a transport beamline able to provide ion beams with suitable characteristics in terms of energy spectrum and angular distribution in order to perform dosimetric tests and biological cell irradiations.
Journal of Instrumentation 05/2014; 9(05):C05065. · 1.66 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nowadays, laser-driven proton beams generated by the interaction of high power lasers with solid targets represent a fascinating attraction in the field of the new acceleration techniques. These beams can be potentially accelerated up to hundreds of MeV and, therefore, they can represent a promising opportunity for medical applications. Laser-accelerated proton beams typically show high flux (up to 1011 particles per bunch), very short temporal profile (ps), broad energy spectra and poor reproducibility. In order to overcome these limitations, these beams have be controlled and transported by means of a proper beam handling system. Furthermore, suitable dosimetric diagnostic systems must be developed and tested. In the framework of the ELIMED project, we started to design a dedicated beam transport line and we have developed a first prototype of a beam line key-element: an Energy Selector System (ESS). It is based on permanent dipoles, capable to control and select in energy laser-accelerated proton beams. Monte Carlo simulations and some preliminary experimental tests have been already performed to characterize the device. A calibration of the ESS system with a conventional proton beam will be performed in September at the LNS in Catania. Moreover, an experimental campaign with laser-driven proton beam at the Centre for Plasma Physics, Queens University in Belfast is already scheduled and will be completed within 2014.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present the current status of ELI-Beamlines that will be the Czech pillar of the ELI (Extreme Light Infrastructure) project. The facility will make available high-brightness multi-TW ultrashort laser pulses at kHz repetition rate, 10 Hz repetition rate laser pulses at the petawatt level together with kilojoule nanosecond laser pulses that will be used for generation of 10 PW. These beamlines will be combined to generate X-ray secondary sources, to accelerate electrons, protons and ions and to study dense plasma and high-field frontier physics. These programs will be introduced together with the engineering program necessary for building a users' facility.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A new type of Faraday cup, capable of detecting high energy charged particles produced in a high intensity laser-matter interaction environment, has recently been developed and demonstrated as a real-time detector based on the time-of-flight technique. An array of these Faraday cups was designed and constructed to cover different observation angles with respect to the target normal direction. Thus, it allows reconstruction of the spatial distribution of ion current density in the subcritical plasma region and the ability to visualise its time evolution through time-of-flight measurements, which cannot be achieved with standard laser optical interferometry. This is a unique method for two-dimensional visualisation of ion currents from laser-generated plasmas. A technical description of the new type of Faraday cup is introduced along with an ad hoc data analysis procedure. Experimental results obtained during campaigns at the Petawatt High-Energy Laser for Heavy Ion Experiments (GSI, Darmstadt) and at the Prague Asterix Laser System (AS CR) are presented. Advantages and limitations of the used diagnostic system are discussed.
The Review of scientific instruments 01/2014; 85(1):013302. · 1.52 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Laser-ion acceleration has recently gained a great interest as an
alternative to conventional and more expensive acceleration techniques.
These ion beams have desirable qualities such as small source size, high
luminosity and small emittance to be used in different fields as Nuclear
Physics, Medical Physics, etc. This is very promising specially for the
future perspective of a new concept of hadrontherapy based on
laser-based devices could be developed, replacing traditional
accelerating machines. Before delivering laser-driven beams for
treatments they have to be handled, cleaned from unwanted particles and
characterized in order to have the clinical requirements. In fact ion
energy spectra have exponential trend, almost 100% energy spread and a
wide angular divergence which is the biggest issue in the beam transport
and, hence, in a wider use of this technology. In order to demonstrate
the clinical applicability of laser-driven beams new collaboration
between ELI-Beamlines project researchers from Prague (Cz) and a
INFN-LNS group from Catania (I) has been already launched and scientists
from different countries have already express their will in joining the
project. This cooperation has been named ELIMED (MEDical application at
ELIBeamlines) and will take place inside the ELI-Beamlines
infrastructure located in Prague. This work describes the schedule of
the ELIMED project and the design of the energy selector which will be
realized at INFN-LNS. The device is an important part of the whole
transport beam line which will be realised in order to make the ion
beams suitable for medical applications.
Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A Accelerators Spectrometers Detectors and Associated Equipment 12/2013; · 1.14 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: ABSTRACT: Laser accelerated proton beams represent nowadays an attractive alternative to the
conventional ones and they have been proposed in different research fields. In particular, the interest
has been focused in the possibility of replacing conventional accelerating machines with
laser-based accelerators in order to develop a new concept of hadrontherapy facilities, which could
result more compact and less expensive. With this background the ELIMED (ELIMED: ELIBeamlines
MEDical applications) research project has been launched by LNS-INFN researchers
(Laboratori Nazionali del Sud-Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Catania, IT) and ASCR-FZU
researchers (Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic-Fyzik´aln´ı ´ustar, Prague, Cz), within the
�pan-European ELI-Beamlines facility framework. Its main purposes are the demonstration of future
applications in hadrontherapy of optically accelerated protons and the realization of a laseraccelerated
ion transport beamline for multidisciplinary applications. Several challenges, starting
from laser-target interaction and beam transport development, up to dosimetric and radiobiological
issues, need to be overcome in order to reach the final goals. The design and the realization of a
preliminary beam handling and dosimetric system and of an advanced spectrometer for high energy
(multi-MeV) laser-accelerated ion beams will be shortly presented in this work.
13th Topica Seminar on innovative particle and radiation detectors -, Siena (Italy); 10/2013
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We review and discuss different schemes of laser ion acceleration as
well as advanced target geometries in connection with the development of
the laser-driven proton source for hadron therapy of oncological
diseases, which is a part of the ELIMED project.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We give an overeview of the ELI Beamline facility development built within the ELI project. The main objective is the delivery of stable ultrashort high energy pulses for the generation and application of high brightness X-ray sources and accelerated particle beams with enhanced repetition rates.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: New particle acceleration regimes driven by PW class lasers imply the
development of new in-situ diagnostics. Before constructing new types of
detectors one must test currently available diagnostics in these new
regimes of high intensity laser-matter interaction. Experimental tests
on two types of time of flight detectors are presented, demonstrating
the possibility of their measuring capabilities in harsh conditions,
namely the strong laser induced electromagnetic pulse. A recently
developed silicon carbide detector was successfully tested and particle
beams were characterized. Further tests were performed on a detector
based on secondary emission of electrons during the transition of laser
accelerated particle beams. The presented results show a clear
consistency and sufficient capabilities for high intensity laser driven
particle beam detection.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The ELI (Extreme Light Infrastructure) Beamlines facility in the Czech Republic, which is planned to complete the installation in 2015, is one of the four pillars of the ELI European project. Several laser beamlines with ultrahigh intensities and ultrashort pulses are foreseen, offering versatile radiation sources in an unprecedented energy range: laser-driven particle beams are expected to range between 1 and 50 GeV for electrons and from 100 MeV up to 3 GeV for protons. The number of particles delivered per laser shot is estimated to be 109–1010 for the electron beams and 1010–1012 for the proton beams.The high energy and current values of the produced particles, together with the potentiality to operate at 10 Hz laser repetition rate, require an accurate study of the primary and secondary radiation fields to optimize appropriate shielding solutions: this is a key issue to minimize prompt and residual doses in order to protect the personnel, reduce the radiation damage of electronic devices and avoid strong limitations in the operational time.A general shielding study for the 10 PW (0.016 Hz) and 2 PW (10 Hz) laser beamlines is presented here. Starting from analytical calculations, as well as from dedicated simulations, the main electron and proton fields produced in the laser-matter interaction have been described and used to characterize the “source terms” in full simulations with the Monte Carlo code FLUKA. The secondary radiation fields have been then analyzed to assess a proper shielding. The results of this study and the proposed solutions for the beam dumps of the high energy beamlines, together with a cross-check analysis performed with the Monte Carlo code GEANT4, are presented.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present an overview of the projected and/or implemented laser systems
for ELI-Beamlines. The ELI-Beamlines facility will be a high-energy,
high repetition-rate laser pillar of the ELI (Extreme Light
Infrastructure) project. The facility will make available
high-brightness multi-TW ultrashort laser pulses at kHz repetition rate,
PW 10 Hz repetition rate laser pulses, and kilojoule nanosecond laser
pulses that will be used for generation of 10 PW, and potentially
higher, peak power. These systems will allow meeting user requirements
for cutting-edge laser resources for programmatic research in generation
and applications of high-intensity X-ray sources, in electron and
proton/ion acceleration, and in dense plasma and high-field frontier
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We discuss the key important regimes of electromagnetic field interaction
with charged particles. Main attention is paid to the nonlinear Thomson/Compton
scattering regime with the radiation friction and quantum electrodynamics
effects taken into account. This process opens a channel of high efficiency
electromagnetic energy conversion into hard electromagnetic radiation in the
form of ultra short high power gamma ray flashes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We identify the physical scenarios of nonlinear spatiotemporal dynamics of extreme-power laser fields enabling compression of a broad-beam ultrafast multipetawatt laser output to subexawatt few-cycle light pulses focusable to pulse intensities up to 1025 W/cm2. We show that, with a careful control over the key limiting physical effects, which include dispersion, pulse self-steepening, small-scale self-focusing, and ionization effects, enhanced self-phase modulation of multipetawatt laser waveforms in a solid medium can provide spectral bandwidths compressible to few-cycle pulse widths with output beam profiles focusable to ultrarelativistic intensities.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The enhancement of laser-driven proton acceleration mechanism in TNSA regime has been demonstrated through the use of advanced nanostructured thin foils. The presence of a monolayer of polystyrene nanospheres on the target front-side has drastically enhanced the absorption of the incident laser beam, leading to a consequent increase in the maximum proton beam energy and total laser conversion efficiency. The experimental measurements have been carried out at the 100 TW and 1 PW laser systems available at the APRI-GIST facility. Experimental results and comparison with particle-in-cell numerical simulations are presented and discussed.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Since the radiation reaction effect on electron propagation is very small in most cases, it can be usually neglected and the Lorentz force equation can be applied. However, ultra-intense lasers with normalized vector potential of the order of 100 can accelerate electrons to relativistic velocities with very high gamma factor. When the electron is accelerated to such high velocities the amount of emitted radiation may become large and radiation damping and emission of energetic photons should be considered. This work studies the influence of the radiation reaction force on laser interaction with solid foil targets. It compares different approaches adopted in PIC simulations to take into account the radiation reaction. The simulations of a counter-propagating relativistic electron and an ultra-intense laser beam demonstrate a strong energy loss of electrons due to non-linear Compton scattering. The interaction of ultra-intense laser pulse with solid foil is studied using PIC simulations. It is shown that the effect of radiation reaction strongly depends on the recirculation of high-energy electrons. When the recirculation is efficient, the radiation coming from the target is much more intense and it shows different spectral and angular characteristics.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Radiation pressure is an effective mechanism of momentum transfer to ions in laser plasmas. The energy of ions accelerated by the radiation pressure can be greatly enhanced due to a transverse expansion of a thin target. The ion velocity cannot exceed the pulse group velocity. The beams of accelerated ions are unstable against various instabilities, which results in the target modulations and broadening of the ion energy spectrum.
Lasers and Electro-Optics Pacific Rim (CLEO-PR), 2013 Conference on; 01/2013
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Laser accelerated proton beams have been proposed to be used in different research fields. A great interest has risen for the potential replacement of conventional accelerating machines with laser-based accelerators, and in particular for the development of new concepts of more compact and cheaper hadrontherapy centers. In this context the ELIMED (ELI MEDical applications) research project has been launched by INFN-LNS and ASCR-FZU researchers within the pan-European ELI-Beamlines facility framework. The ELIMED project aims to demonstrate the potential clinical applicability of optically accelerated proton beams and to realize a laser-accelerated ion transport beamline for multi-disciplinary user applications. In this framework the eye melanoma, as for instance the uveal melanoma normally treated with 62 MeV proton beams produced by standard accelerators, will be considered as a model system to demonstrate the potential clinical use of laser-driven protons in hadrontherapy, especially because of the limited constraints in terms of proton energy and irradiation geometry for this particular tumour treatment. Several challenges, starting from laser-target interaction and beam transport development up to dosimetry and radiobiology, need to be overcome in order to reach the ELIMED final goals. A crucial role will be played by the final design and realization of a transport beamline capable to provide ion beams with proper characteristics in terms of energy spectrum and angular distribution which will allow performing dosimetric tests and biological cell irradiation. A first prototype of the transport beamline has been already designed and other transport elements are under construction in order to perform a first experimental test with the TARANIS laser system by the end of 2013. A wide international collaboration among specialists of different disciplines like Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Medicine and medical doctors coming from Europe, Japan, and the US is growing up around the ELIMED project with the aim to work on the conceptual design, technical and experimental realization of this core beamline of the ELI Beamlines facility.