PhD Defenses


Wed August 31st 2022, 10:00 - 11:00am

Ph.D. Candidate:  Jason Chou

Research Advisor:  Siegfried Glenzer and Frederico Fiuza

Date: August 31st, 2022
Time: 10 AM PDT

Zoom Link:

Zoom Password: email nickswan [at] for password


Optimization of ion acceleration from high-intensity laser-plasma interactions

High-energy (100s MeV), high spectral quality ion beams are important for many applications, from isochoric heating of materials, radiography of plasmas, to tumor therapy. Advances in the development of intense short pulse lasers, recognized with the 2018 Nobel Prize in physics, are seen as a promising route to drive compact ion beam sources. However, the control of the ion beam properties remains an outstanding challenge.  


In this Thesis, I use large-scale kinetic simulations and theoretical analysis to investigate two approaches for controlling and optimizing laser-driven ion beams. In the first, I discuss how the laser radiation pressure can be harnessed to produce high-charge ion beams with high spectral quality. In the second, I show that we can combine the advantages of a laser-driven (compact, high-charge, 10s MeV) proton injector with a high-gradient radiofrequency (RF) linear accelerator (controllable beam energy and spectral bandwidth) to develop a hybrid laser-RF accelerator. 


This study will help guide the development of new approaches and future experiments for producing ion beams with tunable energy up to 300 MeV in compact (meter-scale) systems.