Two physicists (a female and male) working on a lab experiment

ALP Seminar: Exploiting novel liquid sheet targets for the generation of high-flux radiation sources

20 Nov 2023
Seminars and colloquia
Simpkins Lee
Beecroft Building

Dr Charlotte Palmer, Queen's University Belfast

Seminar series
ALP seminar
Knowledge of physics?
Yes, knowledge of physics required
For more information contact


Laser-plasma acceleration has enormous potential to provide compact sources of ultra-short ion beams.
However, several factors hamper their wider adoption, such as the low shot-to-shot stability, large beam
divergence and the difficulty of high-repetition rate operation. In this talk will outline an approach for
overcoming these challenges by using an automated experimental setup incorporating a novel liquid sheet
target, developed by collaborators at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. I will report on recent
experiments at the GEMINI TA2 laser facility (10 TW, 5 Hz) which demonstrated stable acceleration of few
MeV proton beams with high flux and unexpectedly low-divergence proton beams in comparison to typical
laser-accelerated ion beams. Supporting PIC simulations have shown that the presence of background
vapour around the target plays an important role in the observed collimation of the proton beam. The
measured proton beams are already suitable for applications requiring high proton flux and the platform
can be easily extended to kHz repetition rates or higher laser energies extending the utility of the source to
a wide range of applications in radiobiology, materials science and fundamental physics.

C. A. J. Palmer,1,  M. J. V. Streeter,1 G. D. Glenn,2, 3 S. DiIorio,4 F. Treffert,2, 5
B. Loughran,1 H. Ahmed,6 S. Astbury,6 M. Balcazar,4 M. Borghesi,1 N. Bourgeois,6
C. B. Curry,2, 7 S. J. D. Dann,6 N. P. Dover,8 T. Dzelzainis,6 O. C. Ettlinger,8 M. Gauthier,2
L. Giuffrida,9 S. H. Glenzer,2 J. S. Green,6 R. J. Gray,10 G. S. Hicks,8 C. Hyland,1
V. Istokskaia,9, 11 M. King,10 D. Margarone,1, 9 O. McCusker,1 P. McKenna,10 Z. Najmudin,8
C. Parisuaña,2, 12 P. Parsons,1 C. Spindloe,6 D. R. Symes,6 A. G. R. Thomas,4 and N. Xu8

1School of Mathematics and Physics, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast, BT7 1NN, Belfast UK
2SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, 2575 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park, California, USA
3Department of Applied Physics, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, USA
4Gérard Mourou Center for Ultrafast Optical Science, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2099, USA
5Institut für Kernphysik, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Karolinenplatz 5, 64289 Darmstadt, Germany
6Central Laser Facility, STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Didcot OX11 0QX, UK
7Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, T6G1H9, Canada
8The John Adams Institute for Accelerator Science, Imperial College London, London, SW7 2AZ, UK
9ELI Beamlines Facility, The Extreme Light Infrastructure ERIC, Dolni Brezany, Czech Republic
10Department of Physics, SUPA, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow G4 0NG, UK
11Faculty of Nuclear Sciences and Physical Engineering, Czech
Technical University in Prague, Prague, Czech Republic
12Department of Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, USA
(Dated: August 29, 2023)