Design and simulation of laser wakefield acceleration with external electron bunch injection in front of the laser pulse

A. Irman, M.J.H. Luttikhof, A.G. Khachatryan, F.A. van Goor, Jeroen W.J. Verschuur, Hubertus M.J. Bastiaens, Klaus J. Boller

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In this article we present a theoretical investigation on an experimental design of a laser wakefield accelerator in which electron bunches from a photocathode radio frequency linac are injected into a capillary discharge plasma channel just in front of a few tens of terawatt drive laser pulse. The electron bunch, with a kinetic energy of 2.9 MeV and an energy chirp imposed by the linac, is magnetically compressed by a factor of 8 to a duration of 250 fs, and is magnetically focused into the plasma channel where it matches the spot size of the drive laser ([approximate]30 µm). The dynamics of the bunch, starting from the photocathode, through the linac, along the beam transportation line, through the magnetic compressor, and its focusing into the plasma channel are comprehensively simulated with the general particle tracer code. Further, we use our three-dimensional numerical codes to calculate the laser wakefield and to determine and optimize the trapping and acceleration of the injected bunch in the wakefield. We show that, injecting a 5 pC electron bunch of 250 fs duration, the experiment should deliver an electron bunch of approximately 744 MeV energy, with 1.1% relative energy spread, and with an extremely short duration (6 fs), after acceleration in a 5.4 cm long plasma channel
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)024513-1-024513-7
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number024513
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • IR-57936
  • METIS-240152

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