Efficient laser production of energetic neutral beams

F. Mollica, L. Antonelli, A. Flacco, J. Braenzel, B. Vauzour, G. Folpini, G. Birindelli, M. Schnuerer, D. Batani, V. Malka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Laser-driven ion acceleration by intense, ultra-short, laser pulse has received increasing attention in recent years, and the availability of much compact and versatile ions sources motivates the study of laser-driven sources of energetic neutral atoms. We demonstrate the production of a neutral and directional beam of hydrogen and carbon atoms up to 200 keV per nucleon, with a peak flow of 2.7 x 10(13) atom s(-1). Laser accelerated ions are neutralized in a pulsed, supersonic argon jet with tunable density between 1.5 x 10(17) cm(-3) and 6 x 10(18) cm(-3). The neutralization efficiency has been measured by a time-of-flight detector for different argon densities. An optimum is found, for which complete neutralization occurs. The neutralization rate can be explained only at high areal densities (> 1 x 10(17) cm(-2)) by single electron charge transfer processes. These results suggest a new perspective for the study of neutral production by laser and open discussion of neutralization at a lower density.

Original languageEnglish
Article number034016
Number of pages7
JournalPlasma Physics and Controlled Fusion
Issue number3
StatePublished - 15 Feb 2016
Externally publishedYes
Event2015 International Laser Plasma Accelerators Workshop - Guadeloupe, France
Duration: 10 May 201515 May 2015


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