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Afshari, M.; Morris, S.; Geulig, L. D.; Chitgar, Z. M.; Gibbon, P.; Thirolf, P. G.; Schreiber, J. (2022): The role of collisional ionization in heavy ion acceleration by high intensity laser pulses. Scientific Reports, 12 (1). ISSN 2045-2322

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We present here simulation results of the laser-driven acceleration of gold ions using the EPOCH code. Recently, an experiment reported the acceleration of gold ions up to 7 MeV/nucleon with a strong dependency of the charge-state distribution on target thickness and the detection of the highest charge states Z∼72
. Our simulations using a developmental branch of EPOCH (4.18-Ionization) show that collisional ionization is the most important cause of charge states beyond Z = 51 up to He-like Au.

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