There is intense international interest in the development of high power laser-driven ion sources due to the unique properties of the ion beam and the potential to make these sources compact for applications. This has motivated research into new ion acceleration mechanisms to increase the maximum energies achieved and to control the spectral and divergence properties of the ion beam. In this plenary talk, I will set the scene for the latest high-profile developments in the field of laser-driven ion acceleration. I will go on to present my group’s latest results on ion acceleration from ultrathin foil targets. I will show experimental and numerical results on the interaction of linearly polarized, picosecond-duration, ultra-intense laser pulse interactions with ultrathin foils, in which proton energies near to 100 MeV are achieved . A coupled programme of simulations shows that this occurs via a hybrid scheme involving both radiation pressure and sheath acceleration, and that the acceleration field is boosted by the onset of relativistic self-induced transparency in the expanding foil. Results showing the onset of instabilities in proton acceleration from ultrathin foils  will also be presented.
 A. Higginson et al., Nature Communications, 9, 724 (2018)
 M. King et al., High Power Laser Science and Engineering, 7, e14 (2019)
|Working group||Invited plenary talk|