Quasimonoenergetic electron acceleration in the self-modulated laser wakefield regime

Hidding, B. and Geissler, M. and Pretzler, G. and Amthor, K. U. and Schwoerer, H. and Karsch, S. and Veisz, L. and Schmid, K. and Sauerbrey, R. (2009) Quasimonoenergetic electron acceleration in the self-modulated laser wakefield regime. Physics of Plasmas, 16 (4). 043105. ISSN 1070-664X

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    Abstract

    Details on the generation of (multiple) quasimonoenergetic electron bunches in the self-modulated laser wakefield acceleration (SMLWFA) regime are presented. This type of laser-plasma interaction can result in pronounced longitudinal laser pulse fragmentation, dependent on plasma density and laser intensity. It is shown by experiments and particle-in-cell simulations that these laser pulse fragments can be powerful enough to trigger nonlinear plasma wave breaking, injection, and acceleration of electrons to quasimonoenergetic energies. With high plasma densities, self-modulation is promoted, and the advantages of SMLWFA such as especially high accelerating fields and short electron bunches (<5 fs) can be harvested. In addition, more than one quasimonoenergetic electron bunch can be created, with a temporal spacing between each bunch of only few tens of femtoseconds, again governed by plasma density.