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4, AUGUST 2008

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Postacceleration of Laser-Generated High-Energy Protons Through Conventional Accelerator Linacs


Patrizio Antici, Mauro Fazi, Augusto Lombardi, Mauro Migliorati, Luigi Palumbo, Patrick Audebert, and Julien Fuchs

AbstractThe postacceleration of laser-generated protons through conventional drift-tube linear accelerators (linacs) (DTLs) has been simulated with the particle-code PARMELA. The proton source is generated on the rear surface of a target irradiated by an high-intensity (1019 W cm2 ) short-pulse (350 fs) laser and focused by a microlens that allows selecting collimated protons at 7 0.1 MeV with root-mean-square unnormalized transverse emittance of 0.180 mm mrad. The simulations show that protons can be accelerated by one DTL tank to more than 14 MeV with unnormalized transverse-emittance growth of 8 and 22.6 in different transverse directions when considering a total proton charge of 0.112 mA. This rst numerical study shows that coupling between laserplasma accelerators with traditional accelerators is possible, allowing a luminosity gain for the nal beam. Index TermsDrift-tube linear accelerator (linac) (DTL), hybrid accelerator, laser-accelerated proton beams, low-emittance beams.

I. I NTRODUCTION ASER acceleration of intense collimated beams of multimegaelectronvolt ions is a promising and fast-growing area of high-eld science [1]. Proton energies up to 55 MeV and ion energy > 10 MeV/u ([2] and [3] and references therein) with large particle numbers [4], [5], i.e., 1011 1013 ions per shot, have been measured with a very high beam quality [6], [7]. Such a novel pulsed ion source could have a signicant impact for a number of applications such as radiography [8], [9], accelerators [7], [10], fusion science [11], medical use [12][14], or transmutation of nuclear waste [15]. However, the required energies for those applications are very high: up to 250 MeV for medical use, 1 GeV for nuclear spallation, and in the order of teraelectronvolts for high-energy particle physics. Such energies are, nowadays, far from being achieved with laser-particle acceleration but are routinely obtained with large facilities that

use conventional acceleration devices such as linear accelerators (linacs) and cyclotrons. The laser-based ion source has, however, some unique features: 1) transverse emittance, 2) versatility of ions (changing of targets), 3) compact acceleration up to a few tens of megaelectronvolts due to a strong electric eld at the source, and 4) high number of particles per shot. Therefore, if one could couple high-energy ions generated by a table-top laser-particle accelerator to conventional accelerating devices such as linacs or cyclotrons, there could be a benet in terms of compacting the overall structure and increasing the beam luminosity. This hybrid accelerator would prot from the unique characteristics of the laser-generated-ion particle source and from its moderate cost and small size. Up to now, no study of a hybrid model proposal has ever been performed. In this paper, we report on simulations that have been carried out with PARMELA code version 3.38 [16], a particle code used to simulate the transport and acceleration of particles in accelerators, in order to study the postacceleration of laser-generated ions by a conventional linac design. In this paper, we have restricted ourselves to the study of the injection of protons in a single drift-tube linac (DTL) as a rst stage of postacceleration. The accelerator is composed of a laser-accelerated proton source, a drift-focusing section, and a nal accelerating structure using a DTL tank (also called Alvarez) [17]. II. P ROTON S OURCE High-current collimated multimegaelectronvolt beams of ions are generated by irradiating thin solid foils with ultraintense (> 1018 W cm2 ) short-pulse lasers (30 fs10 ps) produced by the chirped-pulse-amplication technique [18]. Currently, the dominant mechanism that leads to the acceleration of high-energy protons from solids in the forward direction (i.e., in the laser direction) occurs at the nonirradiated (rear) surface [19], [20]. Laminar acceleration in the backward direction (toward the laser) of ions generated at the target front surface exist, but it does require high-contrast laser pulses, which adds complexity to the process. In this paper, we will restrict ourselves to the case of standard contrastlimited lasers where a laminar beam with very low emittance parameters, either in the transverse or longitudinal direction, is only produced at the target rear surface. Recently, the use of an ultrafast lasertriggered microlens [21] has allowed to refocus or collimate the divergent laser-accelerated proton beam for transport over large distances and to select a small energy spread E/E 1 out of the energy spectrum of the beam. The energy-selection capability of the microlens, that is tunable, is shown in Fig. 1(b).

Manuscript received November 15, 2007; revised June 3, 2008. This work was supported in part by Euratom/Marie Curie actions and in part by SPARX. P. Antici was with the Laboratoire pour lUtilisation des Lasers Intenses, cole Polytechnique, CNRS, CEA, UPMC, 91128 Palaiseau Cedex, France, and the Dipartimento di Energetica, Universit di Roma La Sapienza, 00161 Rome, Italy. He is now with the Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, 00044 Frascati, Italy. M. Fazi, M. Migliorati, and L. Palumbo are with the Dipartimento di Energetica, Universit di Roma La Sapienza, 00161 Roma, Italy. A. Lombardi is with ATreP, 38100 Trento, Italy. P. Audebert and J. Fuchs are with the Laboratoire pour lUtilisation des Lasers Intenses Laboratory, UMR 7605 CNRS-CEA-cole PolytechniqueUniversit Paris VI, 91128 Palaiseau, France. Color versions of one or more of the gures in this paper are available online at http://ieeexplore.ieee.org. Digital Object Identier 10.1109/TPS.2008.2001412

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Fig. 2. Global scheme of the hybrid accelerator, showing the sizes for the source, focusing, and accelerating sections.

III. P OSTACCELERATING S TRUCTURE Since it is technically not foreseeable to couple an accelerating device directly to the lasertarget interaction point inside the target chamber, a drift space of 60 cm (corresponding to a typical target chamber radius) has been inserted before the proton beam is captured by the focusing structure. Adding then a conventional focusing section is necessary, since after the drift space the proton bunch, although its divergence has been reduced by the microlens, has diverged, and therefore, it is necessary to refocus the beam. Five quadrupoles of different length and gradient have been designed for this structure. The interplay between two quadrupoles with gradients of opposite sign gives an overall focusing structure that allows injecting the beam in the accelerating structure. The acceleration section has been modeled using a DTL tank which is a radio cavity operating in the TM010 mode. An acceleration using the more compact and more expensive radio-frequency (RF) radiopole (RFQ) is not possible for protons above 7 MeV, since the acceleration efciency decreases with increasing energy and is not anymore of advantage for our considered energies. In the DTL, 48 RF cavities (cells) containing quadrupoles are placed, separated by a drift space (gap) for longitudinal beam acceleration. Cell parameters inside the DTL have been calculated using the driftkickdrift method. The calculated magnetic- and electriceld structures inside the DTL have been computed with the code SUPERFISH coder version 7.16 (and postprocessor SF7), an electromagnetic-eld solver which creates eld maps for input in PARMELA. The total size of the structure, starting from the proton source, is 785 cm, divided into three sections, 60 cm from the source to the focusing section, 123 cm focusing section, and 602 cm DTL tank as shown in Fig. 2. IV. R ESULTS PARMELA gives outputs of the relevant beam parameters at xed steps during the simulation, allowing tracing the beam behavior during its capture, transport, and acceleration. Fig. 3 shows the result of the PARMELA simulation along the entire structure without considering space-charge effects. As one can see, the oscillating character of the energy spread and beam length is due to the focusingdefocusing property of the structure. This means that the beam is focused by one quadrupole in one transverse direction (e.g., x) but, therefore, defocused in the other direction (e.g., y). Conversely, with the next quadrupole, the beam is focused and defocused in the other direction (i.e., focused in y and defocused in x). Since the beam enters the accelerating structure while one of the axis is focused and the other defocused, the emittance and beam sizes will not vary

Fig. 1. (a) Basic scheme of the ultrafast laser-triggered microlens. (b) Typical proton spectra as recorded (black) without microlens and (green) with the microlens [21].

Such a relativistic laserplasma device can achieve the angular and spectral control of the high-current laser-accelerated ion beams that is required in order to match the necessary injection parameters for the linac. In the simulation, proton energies after the cylinder were in the range of 6.97.1 MeV. This gives 2 109 protons and a total charge of 320 pC. Using a frequency of 350 MHz for the downstream linac, we obtain an equivalent maximum total current of 112 mA that would run through the linac. The choice of the frequency of 350 MHz (as well as the number of cells in the DTL, see as follows) has been motivated by the design chosen for the Spallation Neutron Source facility and has been tested to be a good compromise in terms of results and cost efciency. PARMELA is a 3-D code. By convention, we dene x and y as the transverse axes, the choice of these projections (as will be shown later) being arbitrary (physical quantities become asymmetric between the two axes only due to asymmetry in the elements encountered by the beam on its path as, e.g., is the case for the quadrupoles). The transverse source sizes of the beam used in this paper were, indicating all values as full-width at half-maximum, x = y = 80 m with x = y = 20 m and x = y = 40 mrad with x = y = 9 mrad. Regarding the calculation of the transverse emittance, for the transverse phasespace dimensions (in this paper, xpx for beam propagation along z), the area of the bounding phasespace ellipse equals N , where the root-mean-square (rms) value of the normalized emittance N , at a specic beam energy (or momentum p), is expressed as N = (p/mc)[ x2 x 2 xx 2 ]1/2 , where m is the ion mass, c is the velocity of light, x is the particle position within the beam envelope, and x = (px /pz ) is the particles divergence in the x-direction. At a beam waist, N = x x , where x and x are the rms values of the beamwidth and divergence angle. This leads to an unnormalized transverse emittance of source = 0.180 mm mrad in both x- and y-directions. Gaussian particle distribution has been used in x- and y-directions.

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ANTICI et al.: POSTACCELERATION OF LASER-GENERATED HIGH-ENERGY PROTONS

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charge effects. When using currents < 0.66 mA, transverseemittances values increase by less than a factor of two as compared to the transverse-emittance values without considering space charge effects. However, for proton-beam currents over 0.66 mA, the transverse emittance increases strongly, particularly when the beam enters the focusing section. For I = 1.12 mA, the transverse-emittance values are too high as compared to the existing standards. We can, therefore, not use this current as entrance current for the current-accelerator design. A further simulation using 11.2 mA (which corresponds to using a tenth of all particles produced by the source within the chosen energy range) has nally shown that, with this beam current and even accepting bad values of transverse emittance, the acceleration is not any more ensured. In conclusion, the PARMELA simulations performed in this paper show that a hybrid accelerator, coupling laser-generated protons with a traditional linac, is feasible and offers ways to boost the particle energy while maintaining an emittance lower than found in current accelerators, usually found to be between 28 mm mrad for unnormalized emittance. In addition, the beam current is comparable with the one used in existing applications, such as positron emission tomography and spallation (on the order of 0.15 mA). However, the simulations also reveal a strong limitation, i.e., that with the current structure, we are not able to use all the protons generated by the ion source. An optimization regarding that issue could be found keeping the beam larger than it is currently, in order to reduce spacecharge effects and to improve the adaptability to the entrance of the focusing section as said in the previous paragraph.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT The authors would like to thank the LULI laser teams for their expert support. They would also like to thank T. Cowan and J. Rosenzweig for useful discussions.
Fig. 3. Results of the PARMELA simulation for the hybrid accelerator and without considering space-charge effects. (a) Proton energy. (b) Unnormalized rms transverse emittance. (c) Normalized rms transverse emittance. (d) Longitudinal bunch length. (e) Transverse beam size. (f) Energy spread.

R EFERENCES
[1] M. Borghesi et al., Fast ion generation by high-intensity laser irradiation of solid targets and applications, Fus. Sci. Technol., vol. 49, no. 3, pp. 412439, Apr. 2006. [2] M. Hegelich et al., MeV ion jets from short-pulse-laser interaction with thin foils, Phys. Rev. Lett., vol. 89, no. 8, 085 002, Aug. 2002. [3] P. McKenna, Characterization of proton and heavier ion acceleration in ultrahigh-intensity laser interactions with heated target foils, Phys. Rev. E, Stat. Phys. Plasmas Fluids Relat. Interdiscip. Top., vol. 70, no. 3, 036 405, Sep. 2004. [4] E. L. Clark et al., Measurements of energetic proton transport through magnetized plasma from intense laser interactions with solids, Phys. Rev. Lett., vol. 84, no. 4, pp. 670673, Jan. 2000. [5] R. A. Snavely et al., Intense high-energy proton beams from petawatt-laser irradiation of solids, Phys. Rev. Lett., vol. 85, no. 14, pp. 29452948, Jan. 2000. [6] S. V. Bulanov et al., Feasibility of using laser ion accelerators in proton therapy, Plasma Phys. Rep., vol. 28, no. 5, pp. 453456, May 2002. [7] T. E. Cowan et al., Ultralow emittance, multi-MeV proton beams from a laser virtual-cathode plasma accelerator, Phys. Rev. Lett., vol. 92, no. 20, 204 801, May 2004. [8] M. Borghesi et al., Electric eld detection in laserplasma interaction experiments via the proton imaging technique, Phys. Plasmas, vol. 9, no. 5, p. 2214, May 2002. [9] M. Roth et al., Energetic ions generated by laser pulses: A detailed study on target properties, Phys. Rev. Spec. Top., Accel. Beams, vol. 5, no. 6, 061 301, Jun. 2002.

in a symmetrical way. Since simulations shown in Fig. 3 are performed without space-charge effects, the variation of the emittance and of the beam size are decoupled. Several simulations have been run in trying to optimize the different parameters in the acceleration such as accelerating eld gradient, drift-tube size, and phase. We are aware that the proposed structure might still be improved to reduce the high transverse-emittance growth at the entrance of the focusing section. Space-charge effects have been added to the proposed accelerator, starting from an initial proton-beam current of I = 0.112 mA, i.e., reducing by a factor of 1000 the number of protons that are emitted from the proton source. We have then increased the beam current to see up to which point the design of the hybrid accelerator still yields reasonable results. For currents < 0.66 mA, the nal energy is always close to 14.54 MeV, similar to the nal energy without space-

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[10] M. Borghesi et al., Multi-MeV proton source investigations in ultraintense laserfoil interactions, Phys. Rev. Lett., vol. 92, no. 5, 055 003, Feb. 2004. [11] P. K. Patel et al., Isochoric heating of solid-density matter with an ultrafast proton beam, Phys. Rev. Lett., vol. 91, no. 12, 125 004, Sep. 2003. [12] M. I. K. Santala et al., Production of radioactive nuclides by energetic protons generated from intense laserplasma interactions, Appl. Phys. Lett., vol. 78, no. 1, p. 19, Jan. 2001. [13] J. Fuchs et al., Laser-driven proton scaling laws and new paths towards energy increase, Nature Phys., vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 4854, 2006. [14] E. Lefebvre et al., Numerical simulation of isotope production for positron emission tomography with laser-accelerated ions, J. Appl. Phys., vol. 100, no. 11, 113 308, Dec. 2006. [15] P. McKenna et al., Broad energy spectrum of laser-accelerated protons for spallation-related physics, Phys. Rev. Lett., vol. 94, no. 8, 084 801, Mar. 2005. [16] L. M. Young and J. Billen, 2004, PARMELA LANL (LA-UR-96-1835). [17] T. Wangler, Principles of RF Linear Accelerators. New York: WileyInterscience, 1998. [18] D. Strickland and G. Mourou, Compression of amplied chirped optical pulses, Opt. Commun., vol. 56, no. 3, pp. 219221, Dec. 1985. [19] J. Fuchs et al., Comparison of laser ion acceleration from the front and rear surfaces of thin foils, Phys. Rev. Lett., vol. 94, no. 4, 045 004, Feb. 2005. [20] J. Fuchs et al., Comparative spectra and efciencies of ions laseraccelerated forward from the front and rear surfaces of thin solid foils, Phys. Plasmas, vol. 14, no. 5, 053 105, May 2007. [21] T. Toncian et al., Ultrafast laser-driven microlens to focus and energy-select mega-electron volt protons, Science, vol. 312, no. 5772, pp. 410413, Apr. 2006.

Mauro Fazi received the degree (cum laude) in electronic engineering from Universit di Roma La Sapienza, Rome, Italy, in 2006. His thesis was on the acceleration of laser-generated proton beam. He is currently with the Dipartimento di Energetica, Universit di Roma La Sapienza, and also with a company working in the information technology eld.

Augusto Lombardi, photograph and biography not available at the time of publication.

Mauro Migliorati, photograph and biography not available at the time of publication.

Luigi Palumbo received the Laurea degree in electronic engineering in 1979. He was a Fellow with CERN in 1982, a Researcher in 1984, an Associate Professor in 1992, and a Full Professor in 2000. He currently teaches physics with Universit di Roma La Sapienza, Rome, Italy. His main eld of research is related to particle accelerators for high-energy physics and for interdisciplinary applications. He is currently responsible of the SPARX-FEL project in Rome. Mr. Palumbo is an Associate Member of the Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare and a member of the EPS AG Board.

Patrick Audebert, photograph and biography not available at the time of publication.

Patrizio Antici received the M.S. degree in electrical engineering from Universit di Roma La Sapienza, Rome, Italy, in 1999 and the Ph.D. degree from cole Polytechnique, Paris, France, and Universit di Roma La Sapienza, in 2007. He is currently with the Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Frascati, Italy, where he works within the SPARX-FEL project and collaborates with LOA, Palaiseau, France, for the Extreme Light Infrastructure Project. His research interests include high-power laser interaction with matter, inertial connement fusion physics, and physics of high-energy laser-driven ion sources and applications.

Julien Fuchs received the M.S. degree in optical engineering from Ecole Suprieure dOptique, Orsay Cedex, France, in 1992 and the Ph.D. degree from Universit du Qubec, Quebec City, QC, Canada, in 1998. He has been a Researcher (since 1998) and a Professor (since 2006) with the Laboratoire pour lUtilisation des Lasers Intenses Laboratory, CNRS (Ecole Polytechnique), Paris, France, after a sabbatical from 2002 to 2004 at General Atomics, San Diego, CA. His research interests include highpower laser interaction with matter, inertial connement fusion physics, and physics of high-energy laser-driven ion sources and applications.

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