Linearly tapered discharge capillary waveguides as a medium for a laser plasma wakefield accelerator

Salima Saleh Abu-Azoum, Mark Wiggins, B. Ersfeld, K. Hart, G. Vieux, X. Yang, G. H. Welsh, R. C. Issac, M. P. Reijnders, D. R. Jones, Dino A. Jaroszynski

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Gas-filled capillary discharge waveguides are commonly used as media for plasma wakefield accelerators. We show that effective waveguides can be manufactured using a femtosecond laser micromachining technique to produce a linearly tapered plasma density, which enables the energy of the accelerator to be enhanced significantly. A laser guiding efficiency in excess of 82% at sub-relativistic intensities has been demonstrated in a 40 mm long capillary with a diameter tapering from 320 μm to 270 μm, which gives rise to an on-axis, time-averaged plasma density that varies from 1.0 × 1018 cm−3 to 1.6 × 1018 cm−3.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages3
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Early online date4 Jan 2012
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • radiation
  • tapered discharge
  • capillary waveguides
  • laser plasma
  • wakefield accelerator

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