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Control of tunable, monoenergetic laser-plasma-accelerated electron beams using a shock-induced density downramp injector

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Control of the properties of laser-plasma-accelerated electron beams that were injected along a shock-induced density downramp through precision tailoring of the density profile was demonstrated using a 1.8 J, 45 fs laser interacting with a mm-scale gas jet. The effects on the beam spatial profile, steering, and absolute energy spread of the density region before the shock and tilt of the shock were investigated experimentally and with particle-in-cell simulations. By adjusting these density parameters, the electron beam quality was controlled and improved while the energy (30-180 MeV) and energy spread (2-11 MeV) were independently tuned. Simple models that are in good agreement with the experimental results are proposed to explain these relationships, advancing the understanding of downramp injection. This technique allows for high-quality electron beams with percent-level energy spread to be tailored based on the application.

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