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Undulator radiation driven by laser-wakefield accelerator electron beams

Wiggins, S. M. and Anania, M. P. and Welsh, G. H. and Brunetti, E. and Cipiccia, S. and Grant, P. A. and Reboredo, D. and Manahan, G. and Grant, D. W. and Jaroszynski, D. A. (2015) Undulator radiation driven by laser-wakefield accelerator electron beams. In: Proceedings of SPIE. SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering., Washington. ISBN 9781628416305

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Abstract

The Advanced Laser-Plasma High-Energy Accelerators towards X-rays (ALPHA-X) programme is developing laserplasma accelerators for the production of ultra-short electron bunches with subsequent generation of coherent, bright, short-wavelength radiation pulses. The new Scottish Centre for the Application of Plasma-based Accelerators (SCAPA) will develop a wide range of applications utilising such light sources. Electron bunches can be propagated through a magnetic undulator with the aim of generating fully coherent free-electron laser (FEL) radiation in the ultra-violet and Xrays spectral ranges. Demonstration experiments producing spontaneous undulator radiation have been conducted at visible and extreme ultra-violet wavelengths but it is an on-going challenge to generate and maintain electron bunches of sufficient quality in order to stimulate FEL behaviour. In the ALPHA-X beam line experiments, a Ti:sapphire femtosecond laser system with peak power 20 TW has been used to generate electron bunches of energy 80-150 MeV in a 2 mm gas jet laser-plasma wakefield accelerator and these bunches have been transported through a 100 period planar undulator. High peak brilliance, narrow band spontaneous radiation pulses in the vacuum ultra-violet wavelength range have been generated. Analysis is provided with respect to the magnetic quadrupole beam transport system and subsequent effect on beam emittance and duration. Requirements for coherent spontaneous emission and FEL operation are presented.