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Proton- and x-ray beams generated by ultra-fast CO2 lasers for medical applications

Pogorelsky, Igor and Polyanskiy, Mikhail N. and Yakimenko, Vitaly and Ben-Zvi, Ilan and Shkolnikov, Peter and Najmudin, Zulfikar and Palmer, Charlotte A. J. and Dover, Nicholas P. and Oliva, Piernicola and Carpinelli, Massimo (2011) Proton- and x-ray beams generated by ultra-fast CO2 lasers for medical applications. Proceedings of SPIE , Vol. 8079 , 80791L. eISSN 1996-756X. Article.

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DOI: 10.1117/12.889113

Abstract

Recent progress in using picosecond CO2 lasers for Thomson scattering and ion-acceleration experiments underlines their potentials for enabling secondary radiation- and particle- sources. These experiments capitalize on certain advantages of long-wavelength CO2 lasers, such as higher number of photons per energy unit, and favorable scaling of the electrons' ponderomotive energy and critical plasma density. The high-flux x-ray bursts produced by Thomson scattering of the CO2 laser off a counter-propagating electron beam enabled high-contrast, time-resolved imaging of biological objects in the picosecond time frame. In different experiments, the laser, focused on a hydrogen jet, generated monoenergetic proton beams via the radiation-pressure mechanism. The strong power-scaling of this regime promises realization of proton beams suitable for laser-driven proton cancer therapy after upgrading the CO2 laser to sub-PW peak power. This planned improvement includes optimizing the 10-μm ultra-short pulse generation, assuring higher amplification in the CO2 gas under combined isotopic- and power-broadening effects, and shortening the postamplification pulse to a few laser cycles (150-200 fs) via chirping and compression. These developments will move us closer to practical applications of ultra-fast CO2 lasers in medicine and other areas.

Item Type:Article
ID Code:6985
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords:Proton beams, x-ray beams, picosecond CO2 lasers, Thomson scattering
Subjects:Area 02 - Scienze fisiche > FIS/07 Fisica applicata (a beni culturali, ambientali, biologia e medicina)
Divisions:001 Università di Sassari > 01 Dipartimenti > Scienze botaniche, ecologiche e geologiche
Publisher:SPIE
eISSN:1996-756X
Deposited On:18 Jan 2012 13:41

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