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(Color online) Schematics of the experimental setup. The dash-dot line shows the target normal direction, while the dot line shows the laser propagation direction. The inset shows the shape of the laser pulse.
(Color online) Spatial distribution of the proton beams for (a) , (b) , and (c) foils, respectively. The laser intensity is and the pulse duration is . The divergence of the ion beams reduces when a low laser energy of (d) or (e) a long pulse of is used. For (d) and (e), the laser intensity is kept to be and the target thickness is .
(Color online) (a) Schematic view of the rear surface expansion into the vacuum and (b) the local modulation due to the perturbation by the shock wave induced by the large prepulse.
(Color online) Density profiles of the preplasma simulated by the 1D hydrodynamic code Medusa. The parameters are similar to the experimental conditions. The thicknesses of the tantalum foils are (a) , (b) , and (c) , respectively. The red solid lines show the initial surface at the beginning of the interaction . The blue dashed lines show the density profile at , which indicates that a shock wave is formed at the front surface. The black lines show the plasma density profile at , when the main pulse arrives.
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