5-10 May 2019
Europe/Berlin timezone

Controlling the Self-Injection Threshold in Laser Wakefield Accelerators

6 May 2019, 14:40


Meštrovićevo šetalište 45 HR – 21000 Split Republic of Croatia


Dr Stephan Kuschel (SLAC national accelerator laboratory)


Controlling the parameters of a laser plasma accelerated electron beam is a topic of intense research with a particular focus placed on controlling the injection phase of electrons into the accelerating structure from the background plasma. An essential prerequisite for high-quality beams is dark-current free acceleration (i.e., no electrons accelerated beyond those deliberately injected). We show that small-scale density ripples in the background plasma are sufficient to cause the uncontrolled (self-)injection of electrons. Such ripples can be as short as 50μm and can therefore not be resolved by standard interferometry. Background free injection with substantially improved beam characteristics (divergence and pointing) is demonstrated in a gas cell designed for a controlled gas flow. The results are supported by an analytical theory as well as 3D particle in cell simulations.

Working group Laser-driven electron acceleration

Primary authors

Dr Stephan Kuschel (SLAC national accelerator laboratory) Matthew Schwab (Institute of Optics and Quantum Electronics) Mark Yeung (Queens University Belfast) Dominik Hollatz (Helmholtzinsitute Jena) Andreas Seidel (Helmholtzinsitute Jena) Wolfgang Ziegler (Helmholtzinsitute Jena) Dr Alexander Sävert (Helmholtz Institut Jena) Prof. Malte Kaluza (Helmholtzinsitute Jena) Prof. Matt Zepf (Helmholtz Institut Jena)

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