Electron bunch generation from a plasma photocathode
Skip to main content
eScholarship
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Electron bunch generation from a plasma photocathode

  • Author(s): Deng, Aihua
  • Karger, Oliver
  • Heinemann, Thomas
  • Knetsch, Alexander
  • Scherkl, Paul
  • Manahan, Grace Gloria
  • Beaton, Andrew
  • Ullmann, Daniel
  • Wittig, Gregor
  • Habib, Ahmad Fahim
  • Xi, Yunfeng
  • Litos, Mike Dennis
  • O'Shea, Brendan D
  • Gessner, Spencer
  • Clarke, Christine I
  • Green, Selina Z
  • Lindstrøm, Carl Andreas
  • Adli, Erik
  • Zgadzaj, Rafal
  • Downer, Mike C
  • Andonian, Gerard
  • Murokh, Alex
  • Bruhwiler, David Leslie
  • Cary, John R
  • Hogan, Mark J
  • Yakimenko, Vitaly
  • Rosenzweig, James B
  • Hidding, Bernhard
  • et al.
Abstract

Plasma waves generated in the wake of intense, relativistic laser or particle beams can accelerate electron bunches to giga-electronvolt (GeV) energies in centimetre-scale distances. This allows the realization of compact accelerators having emerging applications, ranging from modern light sources such as the free-electron laser (FEL) to energy frontier lepton colliders. In a plasma wakefield accelerator, such multi-gigavolt-per-metre (GV m$^{-1}$) wakefields can accelerate witness electron bunches that are either externally injected or captured from the background plasma. Here we demonstrate optically triggered injection and acceleration of electron bunches, generated in a multi-component hydrogen and helium plasma employing a spatially aligned and synchronized laser pulse. This ''plasma photocathode'' decouples injection from wake excitation by liberating tunnel-ionized helium electrons directly inside the plasma cavity, where these cold electrons are then rapidly boosted to relativistic velocities. The injection regime can be accessed via optical density down-ramp injection, is highly tunable and paves the way to generation of electron beams with unprecedented low transverse emittance, high current and 6D-brightness. This experimental path opens numerous prospects for transformative plasma wakefield accelerator applications based on ultra-high brightness beams.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC Academic Senate's Open Access Policy. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
Current View