Energy-efficient plasma-wakefield acceleration of particle bunches with low energy spread is a promising path to realizing compact free-electron lasers and particle colliders. High efficiency and low energy spread can be achieved simultaneously by strong beam loading of plasma wakefields when accelerating bunches with carefully tailored current profiles [M. Tzoufras, Phys. Rev. Lett. 101, 145002 (2008)PRLTAO0031-900710.1103/PhysRevLett.101.145002]. We experimentally demonstrate such optimal beam loading in a nonlinear electron-driven plasma accelerator. Bunches with an initial energy of 1 GeV were accelerated by 45 MeV with an energy-transfer efficiency of (42±4)% at a gradient of 1.3 GV/m while preserving per-mille energy spreads with full charge coupling, demonstrating wakefield flattening at the few-percent level.
- plasma wakefields
- accelerating gradient
- plasma wakefield acceleration