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Open Access Publications from the University of California

High Quality Electron Bunches up to 1 GeV from Laser Wakefield Acceleration at LBNL

  • Author(s): Esarey, E.
  • Nagler, B.
  • Gonsalves, A.J.
  • Toth, Cs.
  • Nakamura, K.
  • Geddes, C.G.R.
  • Schroeder, C.B.
  • van Tilborg, J.
  • Hooker, S.
  • Leemans, W.P.
  • Michel, E.
  • Cary, J.
  • Bruhwiler, D.
  • et al.

Experiments at the LOASIS laboratory of LBNL have demonstrated production of 100 MeV to 1 GeV electron bunches with low energy spread and low divergence from laser wakefield acceleration. The radiation pressure of a 10 TW laser pulse, guided over 10 diffraction ranges by a few-mm long plasma density channel, was used to drive an intense plasma wave (wakefield), producing electron bunches with energies on the order of 100 MeV and acceleration gradients on the order of 100 GV/m. Beam energy was increased from 100 MeV to 1 GeV by using a few-cm long guiding channel at lower density, driven by a 40 TW laser, demonstrating the anticipated scaling to higher beam energies. Particle simulations indicate that the low energy spread beams were produced from self-trapped electrons through the interplay of trapping, loading, and dephasing. Other experiments and simulations are also underway to control injection of particles into the wake, and hence improve beam quality and stability further.

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