Bright betatron x-ray radiation from a laser-driven-clustering gas target

L.M. Chen, W. C. Yan, D. Z. Li, Z. D. Hu, L. Zhang, W.M. Wang, N. Hafz, J.Y. Mao, K. Huang, Y. Ma, J. R. Zhao, J.L. Ma, Y. T. Li, X. Lu, Zheng-Ming Sheng, Z.Y. Wei, J. Gao, J. Zhang

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Hard X-ray sources from femtosecond (fs) laser-produced plasmas, including the betatron X-rays from laser wakefield-accelerated electrons, have compact sizes, fs pulse duration and fs pump-probe capability, making it promising for wide use in material and biological sciences. Currently the main problem with such betatron X-ray sources is the limited average flux even with ultra-intense laser pulses. Here, we report ultra-bright betatron X-rays can be generated using a clustering gas jet target irradiated with a small size laser, where a ten-fold enhancement of the X-ray yield is achieved compared to the results obtained using a gas target. We suggest the increased X-ray photon is due to the existence of clusters in the gas, which results in increased total electron charge trapped for acceleration and larger wiggling amplitudes during the acceleration. This observation opens a route to produce high betatron average flux using small but high repetition rate laser facilities for applications.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1912
JournalScientific Reports
Early online date29 May 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • laser-produced plasma
  • plasma-based accelerators
  • x-rays
  • ultrafast photonics

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