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Start-to-end modelling of a mode-locked optical klystron free electron laser amplifier

Dunning, D J and McNeil, B W J and Thompson, N R and Williams, P H (2011) Start-to-end modelling of a mode-locked optical klystron free electron laser amplifier. Physics of Plasmas, 18 (7). ISSN 1070-664X

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A free electron laser (FEL) in a mode-locked optical klystron (MLOK) configuration is modelled using start-to-end simulations that simulate realistic electron beam acceleration and transport before input into a full three-dimensional FEL simulation code. These simulations demonstrate that the MLOK scheme is compatible with the present generation of radiofrequency accelerator designs. A train of few-optical cycle pulses is predicted with peak powers similar to those of the equivalent conventional FEL amplifier. The role of electron beam energy modulation in these results is explained and the limitations of some simulation codes discussed. It is shown how seeding the FEL interaction using a High Harmonic seed laser can improve the coherence properties of the output.