The characterization of the absolute number of electrons generated by laser wakefield acceleration often relies on absolutely calibrated FUJI imaging plates (IP), although their validity in the regime of extreme peak currents is untested. Here, we present an extensive study on the dependence of the sensitivity of BAS-SR and BAS-MS IP to picosecond electron bunches of varying charge of up to 60 pC, performed at the electron accelerator ELBE, making use of about three orders of magnitude of higher peak intensity than in prior studies. We demonstrate that the response of the IPs shows no saturation effect and that the BAS-SR IP sensitivity of 0.0081 photostimulated luminescence per electron number confirms surprisingly well data from previous works. However, the use of the identical readout system and handling procedures turned out to be crucial and, if unnoticed, may be an important error source.
- laser wakefield acceleration
- picosecond-electron bunches
- FUJI imaging plates
- relativistic laser plasma physics