A laser–plasma accelerator producing monoenergetic electron beams

Abstract : Particle accelerators are used in a wide variety of fields, ranging from medicine and biology to high-energy physics. The accelerating fields in conventional accelerators are limited to a few tens of MeV m^-1, owing to material breakdown at the walls of the structure. Thus, the production of energetic particle beams currently requires large-scale accelerators and expensive infrastructures. Laser–plasma accelerators have been proposed as a next generation of compact accelerators because of the huge electric fields they can sustain (>100 GeV m^-1). However, it has been difficult to use them efficiently for applications because they have produced poor-quality particle beams with large energy spreads, owing to a randomization of electrons in phase space. Here we demonstrate that this randomization can be suppressed and that the quality of the electron beams can be dramatically enhanced. Within a length of 3 mm, the laser drives a plasma bubble that traps and accelerates plasma electrons. The resulting electron beam is extremely collimated and quasi-monoenergetic, with a high charge of 0.5 nC at 170 MeV.
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Submitted on : Thursday, August 5, 2010 - 4:03:48 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, July 3, 2019 - 10:48:02 AM

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Jérôme Faure, Yannick Glinec, A. Pukhov, S. Kiselev, S. Gordienko, et al.. A laser–plasma accelerator producing monoenergetic electron beams. Nature, Nature Publishing Group, 2004, 431, pp.541-544. ⟨10.1038/nature02963⟩. ⟨hal-00508775⟩

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