Density-transition based electron injector for laser driven wakefield accelerators

K. Schmid, A. Buck, C. M.S. Sears, J. M. Mikhailova, R. Tautz, D. Herrmann, M. Geissler, F. Krausz, L. Veisz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

252 Scopus citations


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 languageEnglish (US)
Article number091301
JournalPhysical Review Special Topics - Accelerators and Beams
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)
  • Surfaces and Interfaces


Dive into the research topics of 'Density-transition based electron injector for laser driven wakefield accelerators'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this