The effect of the vacuum-plasma transition and an injection angle on electron-bunch injection into a laser wakefield

M.J.H. Luttikhof, A.G. Khachatryan, F.A. van Goor, Klaus J. Boller

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External injection of an electron bunch in the laser wakefield can result in femtosecond accelerated bunches with relatively low energy spread. In this paper it is shown that the density transition from vacuum to plasma can play an important role in the trapping process. The plasma wavelength in this transition region changes continuously, which means that the injected electrons see an altering wakefield. This can result in strong defocusing of the injected bunch. It is found that the effect becomes stronger for stronger wakefields, longer transition lengths, and lower injection energies. The transition region can be avoided if the bunch is injected into the wakefield at an angle. Injecting the bunch at an angle allows the bunch to be wider and results in more charge being trapped. The dynamics of the bunch in this case are similar to the dynamics of a bunch injected in front of the laser pulse
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)083101-1-083101-9
Number of pages9
JournalPhysics of plasmas
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • IR-57941
  • METIS-240429

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