Extremely brilliant GeV γ-rays from a two-stage laser-plasma accelerator

Xing-Long Zhu, Min Chen, Su-Ming Weng, Tong-Pu Yu, Wei-Min Wang, Feng He, Zheng-Ming Sheng, Paul McKenna, Dino A. Jaroszynski, Jie Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)
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Recent developments in laser-wakefield accelerators have led to compact ultrashort X/γ-ray sources that can deliver peak brilliance comparable with conventional synchrotron sources. Such sources normally have low efficiencies and are limited to 107-8 photons/shot in the keV to MeV range. We present a novel scheme to efficiently produce collimated ultrabright γ-ray beams with photon energies tunable up to GeV by focusing a multi-petawatt laser pulse into a two-stage wakefield accelerator. This high-intensity laser enables efficient generation of a multi-GeV electron beam with a high density and tens-nC charge in the first stage. Subsequently, both the laser and electron beams enter into a higher-density plasma region in the second stage. Numerical simulations demonstrate that more than 1012 γ-ray photons/shot are produced with energy conversion efficiency above 10% for photons above 1 MeV, and the peak brilliance is above 1026 photons s-1 mm-2 mrad-2 per 0.1% bandwidth at 1 MeV. This offers new opportunities for both fundamental and applied research.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbereaaz7240
Number of pages9
JournalScience Advances
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 29 May 2020


  • high energy radiation
  • industrial radiography
  • medical imaging
  • GeV photon colliders


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