Short-laser-pulse-driven emission of energetic ions into a solid target from a surface layer spalled by a laser prepulse
An efficient emission of picosecond bunches of energetic protons and carbon ions from a thin layer spalled from a organic solid by a laser prepulse is demonstrated numerically. We combine the molecular dynamics technique and multi-component collisional particle-in-cell method with plasma ionization to simulate the laser spallation and ejection of a thin ( 20-30 nm) solid layer from an organic target and its further interaction with an intense femtosecond laser pulse. In spite of its small thickness, a layer produced by laser spallation efficiently absorbs ultrashort laser pulses with the generation of hot electrons that convert their energy to ion energy. The efficiency of the conversion of the laser energy to ions can be as high as 20%, and 10% to MeV ions. A transient electrostatic field created between the layer and surface of the target is up to 10 GV/cm.