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Home   /   Thesis   /   Laser-driven ion acceleration using quasi-critical-density gas jets

Laser-driven ion acceleration using quasi-critical-density gas jets


The proposed PhD thesis aims to study ion acceleration in gases driven by ultraintense and ultrashort laser pulses. The objective is to couple these lasers with high-density gas jets, approaching the critical density associated with the laser wavelength. These jets, produced by specially designed nozzles, may be shaped by hydrodynamic shock waves induced by low-energy auxiliary laser pulses. Compared to standard solid targets, gas jets offer several advantages: production of ion beams from any chemical element; automatic target renewal at the interaction point; low debris generation suitable for high-repetition lasers; specific acceleration processes that can give rise to relatively narrow energy distributions. Once its feasibility is demonstrated, this setup could be leveraged for studies on ion stopping power in various media and the production of medical radioisotopes.
The student will work on the preparation, realization and interpretation of experiments conducted at various laser facilities. In parallel, he/she will perform numerical (hydrodynamic and kinetic) simulations of the shaping of the gas jets and their interaction with ultraintense laser pulses.


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