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Efficiency and energy spread in laser-wakefield acceleration

Reitsma, A.J.W. and Cairns, R.A. and Bingham, R. and Jaroszynski, D.A. (2005) Efficiency and energy spread in laser-wakefield acceleration. Physical Review Letters, 94 (8). 085004-1. ISSN 0031-9007

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Abstract

The theoretical limits on efficiency and energy spread of the laser-wakefield accelerator are investigated using a one-dimensional model. Modifications, both of the wakefield due to the electron bunch, and of the laser pulse shape due to the varying permittivity of the plasma, are described self-consistently. It is found that a short laser pulse gives a higher efficiency than a long laser pulse with the same initial energy. Energy spread can be minimized by optimizing bunch length and bunch charge such that the variation of the accelerating force along the length of the bunch is minimized. An inherent trade-off between energy spread and efficiency exists.