The new technique, created by researchers at Imperial College London with collaborators in Japan and Germany, will help deliver beams of ions that could treat cancers with high doses of more targeted radiation.
We have made a significant leap forward in bringing these laser-driven ion sources out of the lab and towards practical applications.
Particle accelerators use electric fields to accelerate a range of particles, such as ions. They have been developed and used for over a century, to both conduct fundamental studies and treat cancers in hospitals. Recently, new methods that involve lasers manipulating electrons in plasma have been developed, which create electric fields millions of times larger than those possible in standard machines.