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Compact radiation sources based on laser-driven plasma waves

Jaroszynski, D.A. and Anania, M. P. and Aniculaesei, C. and Battaglia, G. and Brunetti, E. and Chen, S. and Cipiccia, S. and Ersfeld, B. and Reboredo Gil, D. and Grant, D.W. and Grant, P. and Hur, M.S. and Inigo Gamiz, L.I. and Kang, T. and Kokurewicz, K. and Kornaszewski, A. and Li, W. and Maitrallain, A. and Manahan, G.G. and Noble, A. and Reid, L.R. and Shahzad, M. and Spesyvtsev, R. and Subiel, A. and Tooley, M.P. and Vieux, G. and Wiggins, S.M. and Welsh, G.H. and Yoffe, S.R. and Yang, X. (2019) Compact radiation sources based on laser-driven plasma waves. In: XXII International Symposium on High Power Laser Systems and Applications. SPIE, Bellingham, WA. ISBN 9781510627512

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Abstract

Here we explore ways of transforming laser radiation into incoherent and coherent electromagnetic radiation using laser- driven plasma waves. We present several examples based on the laser wakefield accelerator (LWFA) and show that the electron beam and radiation from the LWFA has several unique characteristics compared with conventional devices. We show that the energy spread can be much smaller than 1% at 130-150 MeV. This makes LWFAs useful tools for scientists undertaking time resolved probing of matter subject to stimuli. They also make excellent imaging tools. We present ex- perimental evidence that ultra-short XUV pulses, as short as 30 fs, are produced directly from an undulator driven by a LWFA, due to the electron bunches having a duration of a few femtoseconds. By extending the electron energy to 1 GeV, and for 1-2 fs duration pulses of 2 nm radiation peak powers of several MW per pC can be produced. The increased charge at higher electron energies will increase the peak power to GW levels, making the LWFA driven synchrotron an extremely useful source with a spectral range extending into the water window. With the reduction in size afforded by using LWFA driven radiation sources, and with the predicted advances in laser stability and repletion rate, ultra-short pulse radiation sources should become more affordable and widely used, which could change the way science is done.