Directed Coulomb explosion effect on proton acceleration by an intense laser pulse from a double-layer target
We examine ion acceleration by irradiating a hundred TW laser pulse on a double-layer target. It is shown analytically and by three-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations that higher energy protons are obtained by using material with a high charge-to-mass ratio in the first layer of a double-layer target, because a strong Coulomb explosion occurs in such a material. As a result, the protons keep accelerating for a longer time. Using the optimal conditions for the target, it is shown that high energy and high quality protons can be generated.