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Linearly tapered discharge capillary waveguides as a medium for a laser plasma wakefield accelerator

Abu-Azoum, Salima Saleh and Wiggins, Mark and Ersfeld, B. and Hart, K. and Vieux, G. and Yang, X. and Welsh, G. H. and Issac, R. C. and Reijnders, M. P. and Jones, D. R. and Jaroszynski, Dino A. (2012) Linearly tapered discharge capillary waveguides as a medium for a laser plasma wakefield accelerator. Applied Physics Letters, 100. ISSN 0003-6951

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Abstract

Gas-filled capillary discharge waveguides are commonly used as media for plasma wakefield accelerators. We show that effective waveguides can be manufactured using a femtosecond laser micromachining technique to produce a linearly tapered plasma density, which enables the energy of the accelerator to be enhanced significantly. A laser guiding efficiency in excess of 82% at sub-relativistic intensities has been demonstrated in a 40 mm long capillary with a diameter tapering from 320 μm to 270 μm, which gives rise to an on-axis, time-averaged plasma density that varies from 1.0 × 1018 cm−3 to 1.6 × 1018 cm−3.