Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
High-quality electron beams from beam-driven plasma accelerators by wakefield-induced ionization injection
- Author(s): Martinez De La Ossa, A
- Grebenyuk, J
- Mehrling, T
- Schaper, L
- Osterhoff, J
- et al.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.111.245003
We propose a new and simple strategy for controlled ionization-induced trapping of electrons in a beam-driven plasma accelerator. The presented method directly exploits electric wakefields to ionize electrons from a dopant gas and capture them into a well-defined volume of the accelerating and focusing wake phase, leading to high-quality witness bunches. This injection principle is explained by example of three-dimensional particle-in-cell calculations using the code OSIRIS. In these simulations a high-current-density electron-beam driver excites plasma waves in the blowout regime inside a fully ionized hydrogen plasma of density 5×1017 cm-3. Within an embedded 100 μm long plasma column contaminated with neutral helium gas, the wakefields trigger ionization, trapping of a defined fraction of the released electrons, and subsequent acceleration. The hereby generated electron beam features a 1.5 kA peak current, 1.5 μm transverse normalized emittance, an uncorrelated energy spread of 0.3% on a GeV-energy scale, and few femtosecond bunch length. © 2013 American Physical Society.