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Laser wakefield acceleration of electrons holds great promise for producing ultracompact stages of GeV scale, high-quality electron beams for applications such as x-ray free electron lasers and high-energy colliders. Ultrahigh intensity laser pulses can be self-guided by relativistic plasma waves (the wake) over tens of vacuum diffraction lengths, to give >1GeV energy in centimeter-scale low density plasmas using ionization-induced injection to inject charge into the wake even at low densities. By restricting electron injection to a distinct short region, the injector stage, energetic electron beams (of the order of 100MeV) with a relatively large energy spread are generated. Some of these electrons are then further accelerated by a second, longer accelerator stage, which increases their energy to ∼0.5GeV while reducing the relative energy spread to <5% FWHM. © 2011 American Physical Society.

Original publication




Journal article


Physical Review Letters

Publication Date