Progress in hybrid plasma wakefield acceleration

Hidding, Bernhard and Assmann, Ralph and Bussmann, Michael and Campbell, David and Chang, Yen-Yu and Corde, Sébastien and Couperus Cabadağ, Jurjen and Debus, Alexander and Döpp, Andreas and Gilljohann, Max and Götzfried, J. and Foerster, F. Moritz and Haberstroh, F. Florian and Habib, Fahim and Heinemann, Thomas and Hollatz, Dominik and Irman, Arie and Kaluza, Malte and Karsch, Stefan and Kononenko, Olena and Knetsch, Alexander and Kurz, Thomas and Kuschel, Stephan and Köhler, Alexander and Martinez de la Ossa, Alberto and Nutter, Alastair and Pausch, Richard and Raj, Gaurav and Schramm, Ulrich and Schöbel, Susanne and Seidel, Andreas and Steiniger, Klaus and Ufer, Patrick and Yeung, Mark and Zarini, Omid and Zepf, Matt (2023) Progress in hybrid plasma wakefield acceleration. Photonics, 10 (2). 99. ISSN 2304-6732 (

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Plasma wakefield accelerators can be driven either by intense laser pulses (LWFA) or by intense particle beams (PWFA). A third approach that combines the complementary advantages of both types of plasma wakefield accelerator has been established with increasing success over the last decade and is called hybrid LWFA→PWFA. Essentially, a compact LWFA is exploited to produce an energetic, high-current electron beam as a driver for a subsequent PWFA stage, which, in turn, is exploited for phase-constant, inherently laser-synchronized, quasi-static acceleration over extended acceleration lengths. The sum is greater than its parts: the approach not only provides a compact, cost-effective alternative to linac-driven PWFA for exploitation of PWFA and its advantages for acceleration and high-brightness beam generation, but extends the parameter range accessible for PWFA and, through the added benefit of co-location of inherently synchronized laser pulses, enables high-precision pump/probing, injection, seeding and unique experimental constellations, e.g., for beam coordination and collision experiments. We report on the accelerating progress of the approach achieved in a series of collaborative experiments and discuss future prospects and potential impact.