Tomographic characterisation of gas-jet targets for laser wakefield acceleration

J. Couperus, A. Köhler, Tom Wolterink, A. Jochmann, O. Zarini, Hubertus M.J. Bastiaens, Klaus J. Boller, A. Irman, U. Schramm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Laser wakefield acceleration (LWFA) has emerged as a promising concept for the next generation of high energy electron accelerators. The acceleration medium is provided by a target that creates a local well-defined gas-density profile inside a vacuum vessel. Target development and analysis of the resulting gas-density profiles is an important aspect in the further development of LWFA. Gas-jet targets are widely used in regimes where relatively high electron densities over short interaction lengths are required (up to several millimetres interaction length, plasma densities down to View the MathML source~1018cm−3). In this paper we report a precise characterisation of such gas-jet targets by a laser interferometry technique. We show that phase shifts down to 4 mrad can be resolved. Tomographic phase reconstruction enables detection of non-axisymmetrical gas-density profiles which indicates defects in cylindrical nozzles, analysis of slit-nozzles and nozzles with an induced shock-wave density step. In a direct comparison between argon and helium jets we show that it cannot automatically be assumed, as is often done, that a nozzle measured with argon will provide the same gas density with helium

Keywords

  • METIS-320638
  • IR-101033

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