Dark current can spoil witness bunch beam quality and acceleration efficiency in particle beam-driven plasma wakefield accelerators. In advanced schemes, hot spots generated by the drive beam or the wakefield can release electrons from higher ionization threshold levels in the plasma media. These electrons may be trapped inside the plasma wake and will then accumulate dark current, which is generally detrimental for a clear and unspoiled plasma acceleration process. Strategies for generating clean and robust, dark current free plasma wake cavities are devised and analyzed, and crucial aspects for experimental realization of such optimized scenarios are discussed.
- dark current
- plasma wakefield
- plasma wakefield acceleration
- hot spots