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Optical plasma torch electron bunch generation in plasma wakefield accelerators

Wittig, G. and Karger, O. and Knetsch, A. and Xi, Y. and Deng, A. and Rosenzweig, J. B. and Bruhwiler, D. L. and Smith, J. and Manahan, G. G. and Sheng, Z.-M. and Jaroszynski, D. A. and Hidding, B. (2015) Optical plasma torch electron bunch generation in plasma wakefield accelerators. Physical Review Special Topics: Accelerators and Beams, 18 (8). ISSN 1098-4402

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Abstract

A novel, flexible method of witness electron bunch generation in plasma wakefield accelerators is described. A quasistationary plasma region is ignited by a focused laser pulse prior to the arrival of the plasma wave. This localized, shapeable optical plasma torch causes a strong distortion of the plasma blowout during passage of the electron driver bunch, leading to collective alteration of plasma electron trajectories and to controlled injection. This optically steered injection is more flexible and faster when compared to hydro-dynamically controlled gas density transition injection methods.