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Extremely short relativistic-electron-bunch generation in the laser wakefield via novel bunch injection scheme

Khachatryan, A.G. and van Goor, F.A. and Boller, K.J. and Reitsma, A.J.W. and Jaroszynski, D.A. (2004) Extremely short relativistic-electron-bunch generation in the laser wakefield via novel bunch injection scheme. Physical Review Special Topics: Accelerators and Beams, 7 (12). 121301-1-121301-10. ISSN 1098-4402

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Recently a new electron-bunch injection scheme for the laser wakefield accelerator has been proposed [JETP Lett. 74, 371 (2001); Phys. Rev. E 65, 046504 (2002)]. In this scheme, a low energy electron bunch, sent in a plasma channel just before a high-intensity laser pulse, is trapped in the laser wakefield, considerably compressed and accelerated to an ultrarelativistic energy. In this paper we show the possibility of the generation of an extremely short (on the order of 1   μm long or a few femtoseconds in duration) relativistic-electron-bunch by this mechanism. The initial electron bunch, which can be generated, for example, by a laser-driven photocathode rf gun, should have an energy of a few hundred keVs to a few MeVs, a duration in the picosecond range or less and a relatively low concentration. The trapping conditions and parameters of an accelerated bunch are investigated. The laser pulse dynamics as well as a possible experimental setup for the demonstration of the injection scheme are also considered.