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

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Abstract

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
Pages (from-to)eaaz7240
Number of pages21
JournalScience Advances
Volume6
Issue number22
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 May 2020

Keywords

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

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Zhu, X-L., Chen, M., Weng, S-M., Yu, T-P., Wang, W-M., He, F., Sheng, Z-M., McKenna, P., Jaroszynski, D. A., & Zhang, J. (2020). Extremely brilliant GeV γ-rays from a two-stage laser-plasma accelerator. Science Advances, 6(22), eaaz7240. [eaaz7240]. https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.aaz7240