Nowadays, the transport and acceleration of particle beams is performed by conventional accelerators, but in the last decade the scientific community is focused on the study of laser-driven ion acceleration, which can offer a potentially more compact and cost-effective mean of delivering ions/protons. To this purpose, the choice of the target plays a fundamental role in the quality and intensity of the ion beam. The starting point to obtain protons is the use of materials rich in hydrogen (adsorbed through contaminants and H2O) or hydrogenated chemical compounds (hydrates, polymers and so on). In this paper, we show a method to enhance the proton yield via ablation process, from aluminium targets. The method consists in the hydrogen enrichment of the targets with laser treatment in H2 atmosphere. Ablation measurements performed on treated Al targets (500 μm thick) showed a very high increase of proton yield (above 100%) with respect to those not enriched in hydrogen.
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