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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Control of quasi-monoenergetic electron beams from laser-plasma accelerators with adjustable shock density profile

  • Author(s): Tsai, HE;
  • Swanson, KK;
  • Barber, SK;
  • Lehe, R;
  • Mao, HS;
  • Mittelberger, DE;
  • Steinke, S;
  • Nakamura, K;
  • Van Tilborg, J;
  • Schroeder, C;
  • Esarey, E;
  • Geddes, CGR;
  • Leemans, W
  • et al.

The injection physics in a shock-induced density down-ramp injector was characterized, demonstrating precise control of a laser-plasma accelerator (LPA). Using a jet-blade assembly, experiments systematically varied the shock injector profile, including shock angle, shock position, up-ramp width, and acceleration length. Our work demonstrates that beam energy, energy spread, and pointing can be controlled by adjusting these parameters. As a result, an electron beam that was highly tunable from 25 to 300 MeV with 8% energy spread (ΔEFWHM/E), 1.5 mrad divergence, and 0.35 mrad pointing fluctuation was produced. Particle-in-cell simulation characterized how variation in the shock angle and up-ramp width impacted the injection process. This highly controllable LPA represents a suitable, compact electron beam source for LPA applications such as Thomson sources and free-electron lasers.

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