Generation and acceleration of electron bunches from a plasma photocathode

A. Deng, O. S. Karger, T. Heinemann, A. Knetsch, P. Scherkl, G. G. Manahan, A. Beaton, D. Ullmann, G. Wittig, A. F. Habib, Y. Xi, M. D. Litos, B. D. O’Shea, S. Gessner, C. I. Clarke, S. Z. Green, C. A. Lindstrøm, E. Adli, R. Zgadzaj, M. C. Downer & 8 others G. Andonian, A. Murokh, D. L. Bruhwiler, J. R. Cary, M. J. Hogan, V. Yakimenko, J. B. Rosenzweig, B. Hidding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Plasma waves generated in the wake of intense, relativistic laser1,2 or particle beams3,4 can accelerate electron bunches to gigaelectronvolt energies in centimetre-scale distances. This allows the realization of compact accelerators with emerging applications ranging from modern light sources such as the free-electron laser to energy frontier lepton colliders. In a plasma wakefield accelerator, such multi-gigavolt-per-metre wakefields can accelerate witness electron bunches that are either externally injected5,6 or captured from the background plasma7,8. Here we demonstrate optically triggered injection9–11 and acceleration of electron bunches, generated in a multi-component hydrogen and helium plasma employing a spatially aligned and synchronized laser pulse. This ‘plasma photocathode’ decouples injection from wake excitation by liberating tunnel-ionized helium electrons directly inside the plasma cavity, where these cold electrons are then rapidly boosted to relativistic velocities. The injection regime can be accessed via optical11 density down-ramp injection12–16 and is an important step towards the generation of electron beams with unprecedented low transverse emittance, high current and 6D-brightness17. This experimental path opens numerous prospects for transformative plasma wakefield accelerator applications based on ultrahigh-brightness beams.
LanguageEnglish
JournalNature Physics
Early online date12 Aug 2019
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Aug 2019

Fingerprint

photocathodes
plasma accelerators
electrons
wakes
relativistic velocity
injection
helium plasma
hydrogen plasma
plasma waves
ramps
emittance
free electron lasers
high current
tunnels
leptons
emerging
light sources
brightness
accelerators
helium

Keywords

  • plasma waves
  • electron bunches
  • free-electron lasers
  • ultrahigh-brightness beams
  • transformative plasma wakefield accelerator applications

Cite this

Deng, A. ; Karger, O. S. ; Heinemann, T. ; Knetsch, A. ; Scherkl, P. ; Manahan, G. G. ; Beaton, A. ; Ullmann, D. ; Wittig, G. ; Habib, A. F. ; Xi, Y. ; Litos, M. D. ; O’Shea, B. D. ; Gessner, S. ; Clarke, C. I. ; Green, S. Z. ; Lindstrøm, C. A. ; Adli, E. ; Zgadzaj, R. ; Downer, M. C. ; Andonian, G. ; Murokh, A. ; Bruhwiler, D. L. ; Cary, J. R. ; Hogan, M. J. ; Yakimenko, V. ; Rosenzweig, J. B. ; Hidding, B. / Generation and acceleration of electron bunches from a plasma photocathode. In: Nature Physics. 2019.
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author = "A. Deng and Karger, {O. S.} and T. Heinemann and A. Knetsch and P. Scherkl and Manahan, {G. G.} and A. Beaton and D. Ullmann and G. Wittig and Habib, {A. F.} and Y. Xi and Litos, {M. D.} and O’Shea, {B. D.} and S. Gessner and Clarke, {C. I.} and Green, {S. Z.} and Lindstr{\o}m, {C. A.} and E. Adli and R. Zgadzaj and Downer, {M. C.} and G. Andonian and A. Murokh and Bruhwiler, {D. L.} and Cary, {J. R.} and Hogan, {M. J.} and V. Yakimenko and Rosenzweig, {J. B.} and B. Hidding",
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Deng, A, Karger, OS, Heinemann, T, Knetsch, A, Scherkl, P, Manahan, GG, Beaton, A, Ullmann, D, Wittig, G, Habib, AF, Xi, Y, Litos, MD, O’Shea, BD, Gessner, S, Clarke, CI, Green, SZ, Lindstrøm, CA, Adli, E, Zgadzaj, R, Downer, MC, Andonian, G, Murokh, A, Bruhwiler, DL, Cary, JR, Hogan, MJ, Yakimenko, V, Rosenzweig, JB & Hidding, B 2019, 'Generation and acceleration of electron bunches from a plasma photocathode' Nature Physics. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41567-019-0610-9

Generation and acceleration of electron bunches from a plasma photocathode. / Deng, A.; Karger, O. S.; Heinemann, T.; Knetsch, A.; Scherkl, P.; Manahan, G. G.; Beaton, A.; Ullmann, D.; Wittig, G.; Habib, A. F.; Xi, Y.; Litos, M. D.; O’Shea, B. D.; Gessner, S.; Clarke, C. I.; Green, S. Z.; Lindstrøm, C. A.; Adli, E.; Zgadzaj, R.; Downer, M. C.; Andonian, G.; Murokh, A.; Bruhwiler, D. L.; Cary, J. R.; Hogan, M. J.; Yakimenko, V.; Rosenzweig, J. B.; Hidding, B.

In: Nature Physics, 12.08.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T1 - Generation and acceleration of electron bunches from a plasma photocathode

AU - Deng, A.

AU - Karger, O. S.

AU - Heinemann, T.

AU - Knetsch, A.

AU - Scherkl, P.

AU - Manahan, G. G.

AU - Beaton, A.

AU - Ullmann, D.

AU - Wittig, G.

AU - Habib, A. F.

AU - Xi, Y.

AU - Litos, M. D.

AU - O’Shea, B. D.

AU - Gessner, S.

AU - Clarke, C. I.

AU - Green, S. Z.

AU - Lindstrøm, C. A.

AU - Adli, E.

AU - Zgadzaj, R.

AU - Downer, M. C.

AU - Andonian, G.

AU - Murokh, A.

AU - Bruhwiler, D. L.

AU - Cary, J. R.

AU - Hogan, M. J.

AU - Yakimenko, V.

AU - Rosenzweig, J. B.

AU - Hidding, B.

PY - 2019/8/12

Y1 - 2019/8/12

N2 - Plasma waves generated in the wake of intense, relativistic laser1,2 or particle beams3,4 can accelerate electron bunches to gigaelectronvolt energies in centimetre-scale distances. This allows the realization of compact accelerators with emerging applications ranging from modern light sources such as the free-electron laser to energy frontier lepton colliders. In a plasma wakefield accelerator, such multi-gigavolt-per-metre wakefields can accelerate witness electron bunches that are either externally injected5,6 or captured from the background plasma7,8. Here we demonstrate optically triggered injection9–11 and acceleration of electron bunches, generated in a multi-component hydrogen and helium plasma employing a spatially aligned and synchronized laser pulse. This ‘plasma photocathode’ decouples injection from wake excitation by liberating tunnel-ionized helium electrons directly inside the plasma cavity, where these cold electrons are then rapidly boosted to relativistic velocities. The injection regime can be accessed via optical11 density down-ramp injection12–16 and is an important step towards the generation of electron beams with unprecedented low transverse emittance, high current and 6D-brightness17. This experimental path opens numerous prospects for transformative plasma wakefield accelerator applications based on ultrahigh-brightness beams.

AB - Plasma waves generated in the wake of intense, relativistic laser1,2 or particle beams3,4 can accelerate electron bunches to gigaelectronvolt energies in centimetre-scale distances. This allows the realization of compact accelerators with emerging applications ranging from modern light sources such as the free-electron laser to energy frontier lepton colliders. In a plasma wakefield accelerator, such multi-gigavolt-per-metre wakefields can accelerate witness electron bunches that are either externally injected5,6 or captured from the background plasma7,8. Here we demonstrate optically triggered injection9–11 and acceleration of electron bunches, generated in a multi-component hydrogen and helium plasma employing a spatially aligned and synchronized laser pulse. This ‘plasma photocathode’ decouples injection from wake excitation by liberating tunnel-ionized helium electrons directly inside the plasma cavity, where these cold electrons are then rapidly boosted to relativistic velocities. The injection regime can be accessed via optical11 density down-ramp injection12–16 and is an important step towards the generation of electron beams with unprecedented low transverse emittance, high current and 6D-brightness17. This experimental path opens numerous prospects for transformative plasma wakefield accelerator applications based on ultrahigh-brightness beams.

KW - plasma waves

KW - electron bunches

KW - free-electron lasers

KW - ultrahigh-brightness beams

KW - transformative plasma wakefield accelerator applications

U2 - 10.1038/s41567-019-0610-9

DO - 10.1038/s41567-019-0610-9

M3 - Article

JO - Nature Physics

T2 - Nature Physics

JF - Nature Physics

SN - 1745-2473

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