We demonstrate a laser wakefield accelerator with a novel electron injection scheme resulting in enhanced stability, reproducibility, and ease of use. In order to inject electrons into the accelerating phase of the plasma wave, a sharp downward density transition is employed. Prior to ionization by the laser pulse this transition is formed by a shock front induced by a knife edge inserted into a supersonic gas jet. With laser pulses of 8 fs duration and with only 65 mJ energy on target, the accelerator produces a monoenergetic electron beam with tunable energy between 15 and 25 MeV and on average 3.3 pC charge per electron bunch. The shock-front injector is a simple and powerful new tool to enhance the reproducibility of laser-driven electron accelerators, is easily adapted to different laser parameters, and should therefore allow scaling to the energy range of several hundred MeV.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Physical Review Special Topics - Accelerators and Beams|
|State||Published - 2010|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)
- Surfaces and Interfaces