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High Efficiency Electron-Laser Interactions in Tapered Helical Undulators

  • Author(s): Duris, Joseph
  • Advisor(s): Musumeci, Pietro
  • et al.
Abstract

Efficient coupling of relativistic electron beams with high power radiation lies at the heart of advanced accelerator and light source research and development. The inverse free electron laser is a stable accelerator capable of harnessing very high intensity laser electric fields to efficiently transfer large powers from lasers to electron beams.

In this dissertation, we first present the theoretical framework to describe the interaction, and then apply our improved understanding of the IFEL to the design and numerical study of meter-long, GeV IFELs for compact light sources. The central experimental work of the dissertation is the UCLA BNL helical inverse free electron laser experiment at the Accelerator Test Facility in Brookhaven National Laboratory which used a strongly tapered 54cm long, helical, permanent magnet undulator and a several hundred GW CO2 laser to accelerate electrons from 52 to 106MeV, setting new records for inverse free electron laser energy gain (54MeV) and average accelerating gradient (100MeV/m). The undulator design and fabrication as well as experimental diagnostics are presented. In order to improve the stability and quality of the accelerated electron beam, we redesigned the undulator for a slightly reduced output energy by modifying the magnet gap throughout the undulator, and we used this modified undulator to demonstrated capture of >25% of the injected beam without prebunching.

In the study of heavily loaded GeV inverse free electron lasers, we show that a majority of the power may be transferred from a laser to the accelerated electron beam. Reversing the process to decelerate high power electron beams, a mechanism we refer to as tapering enhanced stimulated superradiant amplification, offers a clear path to high power light sources. We present studies of radiation production for a wide range of wavelengths (10um, 13nm, and 0.3nm) using this method and discuss the design for a deceleration experiment using the same undulator used for acceleration in this experiment. By accounting for the evolving radiation field in the design of the undulator tapering, a large fraction of energy may be transferred between the electrons and laser, enabling compact, high-current GeV accelerators and various wavelength light-sources of unprecedented peak powers.

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