Ultrafast Laser-Driven Microlens to Focus and Energy-Select Mega-Electron Volt Protons

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We present a technique for simultaneous focusing and energy selection of high-current, mega-electron volt proton beams with the use of radial, transient electric fields (107 to 1010 volts per meter) triggered on the inner walls of a hollow microcylinder by an intense subpicosecond laser pulse. Because of the transient nature of the focusing fields, the proposed method allows selection of a desired range out of the spectrum of the polyenergetic proton beam. This technique addresses current drawbacks of laser-accelerated proton beams, such as their broad spectrum and divergence at the source.

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