Free electron lasers driven by plasma accelerators : Status and near-term prospects

Emma, C. and Van Tilborg, J. and Assmann, R. and Barber, S. and Cianchi, A. and Corde, S. and Couprie, M. E. and D'Arcy, R. and Ferrario, M. and Habib, A. F. and Hidding, B. and Hogan, M. J. and Schroeder, C. B. and Marinelli, A. and Labat, M. and Li, R. and Liu, J. and Loulergue, A. and Osterhoff, J. and Maier, A. R. and McNeil, B. W. J. and Wang, W. (2021) Free electron lasers driven by plasma accelerators : Status and near-term prospects. High Power Laser Science and Engineering, 9. e57. ISSN 2052-3289 (

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Owing to their ultra-high accelerating gradients, combined with injection inside micrometer-scale accelerating wakefield buckets, plasma-based accelerators hold great potential to drive a new generation of free-electron lasers (FELs). Indeed, the first demonstration of plasma-driven FEL gain was reported recently, representing a major milestone for the field. Several groups around the world are pursuing these novel light sources, with methodology varying in the use of wakefield driver (laser-driven or beam-driven), plasma structure, phase-space manipulation, beamline design, and undulator technology, among others. This paper presents our best attempt to provide a comprehensive overview of the global community efforts towards plasma-based FEL research and development.