Anomalous beam transport through gabor (plasma) lens prototype

Toby Nonnenmacher, Titus-Stefan Dascalu, Robert Bingham, Chung Lim Cheung, Hin-Tung Lau, Ken Long, Jürgen Pozimski, Colin Whyte

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An electron plasma lens is a cost-effective, compact, strong-focusing element that can ensure efficient capture of low-energy proton and ion beams from laser-driven sources. A Gabor lens prototype was built for high electron density operation at Imperial College London. The parameters of the stable operation regime of the lens and its performance during a beam test with 1.4 MeV protons are reported here. Narrow pencil beams were imaged on a scintillator screen 67 cm downstream of the lens. The lens converted the pencil beams into rings that show position-dependent shape and intensity modulation that are dependent on the settings of the lens. Characterisation of the focusing effect suggests that the plasma column exhibited an off-axis rotation similar to the m=1 diocotron instability. The association of the instability with the cause of the rings was investigated using particle tracking simulations.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4357
Number of pages17
JournalApplied Sciences
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 11 May 2021


  • proton therapy
  • plasma trap
  • space-charge lens
  • beam transport
  • instability
  • Gabor lens


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