Laser triggered injection of electrons in a laser wakefield accelerator with the colliding
An injection scheme for a laser wakefield accelerator that employs a counterpropagating laser (colliding with the drive laser pulse, used to generate a plasma wake) is discussed. The threshold laser intensity for electron injection into the wakefield was analyzed using a heuristic model based on phase-space island overlap. Analysis shows that the injection can be performed using modest counterpropagating laser intensity a_1 < 0.5 for a drive laser intensity of a_0 = 1.0. Preliminary experiments were preformed using a drive beam and colliding beam. Charge enhancement by the colliding pulse was observed. Increasing the signal-to-noise ratio by means of a preformed plasma channel is discussed.