Optimization of Direct Laser Acceleration and the Characterization of Scintillators for Proton Imaging
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The advent of the high-intensity ultrashort pulse laser systems has enabled the experimental investigation of matter under extreme conditions and expanded the frontiers of high energy density physics. The interactions of high-power laser with an underdense plasma provide the potential to construct compact next-generation accelerator. However, the mechanism of electron acceleration in the regime of direct laser acceleration (DLA) using picosecond, relativistic intensity laser is a complex and dynamic process that is not fully understood. In the first part of the dissertation, experiments and numerical modeling are combined to explore the DLA mechanism, optimize experimental conditions for electron generation and observe the channel formation in plasma. In the DLA experiment, single-use proton detector was utilized for proton deflectometry diagnostic. However, as high-power laser facilities tend to be upgraded to high repetition rate systems, there is an increasing demand for multi-use proton detectors, such as scintillators. In the second part of the dissertation, the spatial resolution and imaging properties of different kinds of scintillators are characterized.
CHAIR: Professor Louise Willingale