Imperial College London


Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Physics

Research Fellow



+44 (0)20 7594 3791nicholas.dover08 Website




735Blackett LaboratorySouth Kensington Campus





I am a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research Fellow working with the John Adams Institute for Accelerator Science, at Imperial College London.  My research (following on from my PhD and postdoc at Imperial, 2013, JSPS Fellowship  (2015-2017) and QST Postdoctoral Fellowship (2017-2020) at Kansai Photon Science Institute, Japan) is focused on exploring the physics of high intensity laser plasma interactions, with the particular aim of understanding and optimising the ion beams generated. 

Although still in their infancy, high-power-laser driven ion accelerators are an alternative to conventional accelerators, providing beams with novel properties and resulting in new applications.  A high-power-laser is focused onto a target, ionising atoms and heating freed electrons, which stream away from the laser focus. As the target ions remain relatively static due to a significantly lower charge-to-mass ratio, a charge imbalance is created, generating an extreme electrostatic field, accelerating ions to >MeV energies in ~μm distances.


Although low laser repetition rate limits the average current, the extremely high peak current at source is of kiloampere order. This motivates a number of applications distinct from conventional ion sources, such as radiography of high energy density physics experiments, generation of warm dense matter, ultrafast material response studies, material processing, high dose radiobiology and as high energy, high peak current injectors into a conventional accelerator.

My current research is supported by EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 894679

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Dover NP, Nishiuchi M, Sakaki H, et al., 2020, Demonstration of repetitive energetic proton generation by ultra-intense laser interaction with a tape target, High Energy Density Physics, Vol:37, ISSN:1574-1818, Pages:100847-100847

Dover NP, Nishiuchi M, Sakaki H, et al., 2020, Effect of small focus on electron heating and proton acceleration in ultrarelativistic laser-solid interactions, Physical Review Letters, Vol:124, ISSN:0031-9007, Pages:084802 – 1-084802 – 7

Dover NP, Nishiuchi M, Sakaki H, et al., 2017, Scintillator-based transverse proton beam profiler for laser-plasma ion sources, Review of Scientific Instruments, Vol:88, ISSN:0034-6748

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