Plasma based electron acceleration is widely considered as a promising concept for a compact electron accelerator with broad range of future applications from high energy particle colliders to photon science. These accelerators can be powered by either ultra-intense laser beams (LWFA) or relativistic high-current particle beams (PWFA).
Here, we report on a novel approach to combine both schemes in a truly compact experimental setup. In our “LWFA + PWFA” hybrid accelerator, the electron beam generated by a LWFA stage drives a subsequent PWFA stage where a witness beam is trapped and accelerated. This strategy aims to combine the unique features of both plasma acceleration techniques, the LWFA stage provides with a compact source of high-current electron beams required as PWFA drivers, while the PWFA stage acts as an energy and brightness transformer for the LWFA output$^1$.
In this work, we show the first experimental evidence of accelerating a distinct witness bunch in a LWFA-driven PWFA (LPWFA) within only about one millimeter acceleration distance. In the self-ionizing case, we observe witness energies of around 50 MeV. By utilizing a counter-propagating pre-ionization laser, the interaction with the plasma becomes stronger, increasing the final energies to around 120 MeV. Thus, yielding a field gradient of (46$\pm$11) GeV/m which is comparable to what has been shown at large scale facilities$^2$.
- A. Martinez de la Ossa et al., “Hybrid LWFA | PWFA Staging as a Beam Energy and Brightness Transformer: Conceptual Design and Simulations”, Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A. Accepted for publication. https://arxiv.org/abs/1903.04640
- Corde, S. et al., Nat. Commun. 7, 11898 (2016).
|Working group||Laser-driven electron acceleration|