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Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1063/5.0040926

Optimization and stabilization of a kilohertz laser-plasma accelerator

04 Mar 2021-Physics of Plasmas (AIP Publishing LLC AIP Publishing)-Vol. 28, Iss: 3, pp 033105
Abstract: Laser–plasma acceleration at kilohertz repetition rates has recently been shown to work in two different regimes with pulse lengths of either 30 fs or 3.5 fs. We now report on a systematic study in which a large range of pulse durations and plasma densities were investigated through continuous tuning of the laser spectral bandwidth. Indeed, two laser–plasma accelerator (LPA) processes can be distinguished, where beams of the highest quality, with a charge of 5.4 pC and a spectrum peaked at 2–2.5 MeV, are obtained with short pulses propagating at moderate plasma densities. Through particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations, the two different acceleration processes are thoroughly explained. Finally, we proceed to show the results of a 5-h continuous and stable run of our LPA accelerator accumulating more than 18 × 10 6 consecutive shots, with a charge of 2.6 pC and a peaked 2.5 MeV spectrum. A parametric study of the influence of the laser driver energy through PIC simulations underlines that this unprecedented stability was obtained thanks to micro-scale density gradient injection. Together, these results represent an important step toward stable laser–plasma accelerated electron beams at kilohertz repetition rates.

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6 results found


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1063/5.0037925
Julius Huijts1, Igor Andriyash1, Lucas Rovige1, Aline Vernier1  +1 moreInstitutions (1)
02 Apr 2021-Physics of Plasmas
Abstract: Driving laser wakefield acceleration with extremely short, near single-cycle laser pulses is crucial to the realization of an electron source that can operate at kHz-repetition rate while relying on modest laser energy. It is also interesting from a fundamental point of view, as the ponderomotive approximation is no longer valid for such short pulses. Through particle-in-cell simulations, we show how the plasma response becomes asymmetric in the plane of laser polarization, and dependent on the carrier-envelope phase (CEP) of the laser pulse. For the case of self-injection, this in turn strongly affects the initial conditions of injected electrons, causing collective betatron oscillations of the electron beam. As a result, the electron beam pointing, electron energy spectrum, and the direction of emitted betatron radiation become CEP dependent. For injection in a density gradient, the effect on beam pointing is reduced and the electron energy spectrum is CEP independent, as electron injection is mostly longitudinal and mainly determined by the density gradient. Our results highlight the importance of controlling the CEP in this regime for producing stable and reproducible relativistic electron beams and identify how CEP effects may be observed in experiments. In the future, CEP control may become an additional tool to control the energy spectrum or pointing of the accelerated electron beam.

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Topics: Betatron (55%), Laser (54%), Carrier-envelope phase (54%) ... read more

5 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1063/5.0037925
Abstract: Driving laser wakefield acceleration with extremely short, near single-cycle laser pulses is crucial to the realisation of an electron source that can operate at kHz-repetition rate while relying on modest laser energy It is also interesting from a fundamental point of view, as the ponderomotive approximation is no longer valid for such short pulses Through particle-in-cell simulations, we show how the plasma response becomes asymmetric in the plane of laser polarization, and dependent on the carrier-envelope phase (CEP) of the laser pulse For the case of self-injection, this in turn strongly affects the initial conditions of injected electrons, causing collective betatron oscillations of the electron beam As a result, the beam pointing and electron energy spectrum become CEP-dependent For injection in a density gradient these effects are reduced, as electron injection is mostly longitudinal and mainly determined by the density gradient Our results highlight the importance of controlling the CEP in this regime for producing stable and reproducible relativistic electron beams Mitigation of CEP effects can nevertheless be achieved using density gradient injection

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Topics: Laser (56%), Carrier-envelope phase (56%), Betatron (53%) ... read more

4 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1007/S00340-021-07610-Z
M. Cavallone1, M. Cavallone2, Lucas Rovige2, Julius Huijts2  +8 moreInstitutions (5)
01 Apr 2021-Applied Physics B
Abstract: Laser-plasma accelerators can produce ultra short electron bunches in the femtosecond to picosecond duration range, resulting in high peak dose rates in comparison with clinical accelerators. This peculiar characteristic motivates their application to radiation biology studies to elucidate the effect of the high peak dose rate on the biological response of living cells, which is still being debated. Electron beams driven by kHz laser systems may represent an attractive option for such applications, since the high repetition rate can boost the mean dose rate and improve the stability of the delivered dose in comparison with J-class laser accelerators running at 10 Hz. In this work, we present the dosimetric characterisation of a kHz, low energy laser-driven electron source and preliminary results on in-vitro irradiation of cancer cells. A shot-to-shot dosimetry protocol enabled to monitor the beam stability and the irradiation conditions for each cell sample. Results of survival assays on HCT116 colorectal cancer cells are in good agreement with previous findings reported in literature and validate the robustness of the dosimetry and irradiation protocol.

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Topics: Dosimetry (57%), Irradiation (50%)

2 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1063/5.0052831
08 Jun 2021-AIP Advances
Abstract: This work presents a study on laser wakefield electron acceleration in the self-modulated regime (SM-LWFA) using 50-fs laser pulses with energy on the mJ scale, at λ = 0.8 µm, impinging on a thin H2 gas jet. Particle-in-cell simulations were performed using laser peak powers ranging from sub-terawatt to a few terawatts and plasma densities varying from the relativistic self-focusing threshold up to values close to the critical density. The differences in the obtained acceleration processes are discussed. Results show that bunched electron beams with full charge on the nC scale and kinetic energy in the MeV range can be produced and configurations with peak density in the range 0.5–5 × 1020 atoms/cm3 generate electrons with maximum energies. In this range, some simulations generated quasimonoenergetic bunches with ∼0.5% of the total accelerated charge and we show that the beam characteristics, process dynamics, and operational parameters are close to those expected for the blowout regime. The configurations that led to quasimonoenergetic bunches from the sub-TW SM-LWFA regime allow the use of laser systems with repetition rates in the kHz range, which can be beneficial for practical applications.

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Topics: Laser (56%), Bunches (50%), Range (particle radiation) (50%)

2 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1063/5.0047940
Jinpu Lin1, Qian Qian, Jon Murphy, Abigail Hsu  +4 moreInstitutions (1)
Abstract: We explore the applications of machine learning techniques in relativistic laser-plasma experiments beyond optimization purposes. We predict the beam charge of electrons produced in a laser wakefield accelerator given the laser wavefront change caused by a deformable mirror. Machine learning enables feature analysis beyond merely searching for an optimal beam charge, showing that specific aberrations in the laser wavefront are favored in generating higher beam charges. Supervised learning models allow characterizing the measured data quality as well as recognizing irreproducible data and potential outliers. We also include virtual measurement errors in the experimental data to examine the model robustness under these conditions. This work demonstrates how machine learning methods can benefit data analysis and physics interpretation in a highly nonlinear problem of relativistic laser-plasma interaction.

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Topics: Supervised learning (56%), Deformable mirror (54%), Wavefront (52%) ... read more

1 Citations


References
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47 results found


Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1103/PHYSREVLETT.43.267
Toshiki Tajima1, John M. Dawson1Institutions (1)
Abstract: An intense electromagnetic pulse can create a weak of plasma oscillations through the action of the nonlinear ponderomotive force. Electrons trapped in the wake can be accelerated to high energy. Existing glass lasers of power density ${10}^{18}$W/${\mathrm{cm}}^{2}$ shone on plasmas of densities ${10}^{18}$ ${\mathrm{cm}}^{\ensuremath{-}3}$ can yield gigaelectronvolts of electron energy per centimeter of acceleration distance. This acceleration mechanism is demonstrated through computer simulation. Applications to accelerators and pulsers are examined.

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3,536 Citations


Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1038/NATURE02963
Jérôme Faure1, Y. Glinec1, Alexander Pukhov, Sergey Kiselev  +5 moreInstitutions (1)
30 Sep 2004-Nature
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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Topics: Plasma acceleration (62%), Particle accelerator (58%), Electron (53%) ... read more

1,733 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1038/NATURE02900
C. G. R. Geddes1, C. G. R. Geddes2, Cs. Toth2, van J Jeroen Tilborg2  +7 moreInstitutions (4)
08 Jul 2004-Nature
Abstract: Laser-driven accelerators, in which particles are accelerated by the electric field of a plasma wave (the wakefield) driven by an intense laser, have demonstrated accelerating electric fields of hundreds of GV m-1 (refs 1–3) These fields are thousands of times greater than those achievable in conventional radio-frequency accelerators, spurring interest in laser accelerators4,5 as compact next-generation sources of energetic electrons and radiation To date, however, acceleration distances have been severely limited by the lack of a controllable method for extending the propagation distance of the focused laser pulse The ensuing short acceleration distance results in low-energy beams with 100 per cent electron energy spread1,2,3, which limits potential applications Here we demonstrate a laser accelerator that produces electron beams with an energy spread of a few per cent, low emittance and increased energy (more than 109 electrons above 80 MeV) Our technique involves the use of a preformed plasma density channel to guide a relativistically intense laser, resulting in a longer propagation distance The results open the way for compact and tunable high-brightness sources of electrons and radiation

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Topics: Plasma acceleration (63%), Plasma channel (57%), Laser (56%) ... read more

1,641 Citations


Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1038/NATURE02939
Stuart Mangles1, C. D. Murphy2, C. D. Murphy1, Zulfikar Najmudin1  +15 moreInstitutions (4)
30 Sep 2004-Nature
Abstract: High-power lasers that fit into a university-scale laboratory can now reach focused intensities of more than 10(19) W cm(-2) at high repetition rates. Such lasers are capable of producing beams of energetic electrons, protons and gamma-rays. Relativistic electrons are generated through the breaking of large-amplitude relativistic plasma waves created in the wake of the laser pulse as it propagates through a plasma, or through a direct interaction between the laser field and the electrons in the plasma. However, the electron beams produced from previous laser-plasma experiments have a large energy spread, limiting their use for potential applications. Here we report high-resolution energy measurements of the electron beams produced from intense laser-plasma interactions, showing that--under particular plasma conditions--it is possible to generate beams of relativistic electrons with low divergence and a small energy spread (less than three per cent). The monoenergetic features were observed in the electron energy spectrum for plasma densities just above a threshold required for breaking of the plasma wave. These features were observed consistently in the electron spectrum, although the energy of the beam was observed to vary from shot to shot. If the issue of energy reproducibility can be addressed, it should be possible to generate ultrashort monoenergetic electron bunches of tunable energy, holding great promise for the future development of 'table-top' particle accelerators.

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Topics: Relativistic plasma (66%), Plasma acceleration (61%), Waves in plasmas (59%) ... read more

1,637 Citations


Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1007/S003400200795
01 Apr 2002-Applied Physics B
Abstract: We use three-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations to study laser wake field acceleration (LWFA) at highly relativistic laser intensities. We observe ultra-short electron bunches emerging from laser wake fields driven above the wave-breaking threshold by few-cycle laser pulses shorter than the plasma wavelength. We find a new regime in which the laser wake takes the shape of a solitary plasma cavity. It traps background electrons continuously and accelerates them. We show that 12-J, 33-fs laser pulses may produce bunches of 3×1010 electrons with energy sharply peaked around 300 MeV. These electrons emerge as low-emittance beams from plasma layers just 700-μm thick. We also address a regime intermediate between direct laser acceleration and LWFA, when the laser-pulse duration is comparable with the plasma period.

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Topics: Laser (58%), Plasma (52%)

979 Citations


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