Comparative study of active plasma lenses in high-quality electron accelerator transport lines
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1063/1.5018001
Electrically discharged active plasma lenses (APLs) are actively pursued in compact high-brightness plasma-based accelerators due to their high-gradient, tunable, and radially symmetric focusing properties. In this manuscript, the APL is experimentally compared with a conventional quadrupole triplet, highlighting the favorable reduction in the energy dependence (chromaticity) in the transport line. Through transport simulations, it is explored how the non-uniform radial discharge current distribution leads to beam-integrated emittance degradation and a charge density reduction at focus. However, positioning an aperture at the APL entrance will significantly reduce emittance degradation without additional loss of charge in the high-quality core of the beam. An analytical model is presented that estimates the emittance degradation from a short beam driving a longitudinally varying wakefield in the APL. Optimizing laser plasma accelerator operation is discussed where emittance degradation from the non-uniform discharge current (favoring small beams inside the APL) and wakefield effects (favoring larger beam sizes) is minimized.