Progress in laser wakefield accelerators indicates their suitability as a driver of compact free-electron lasers (FELs). High brightness is defined by the normalized transverse emittance, which should be less than 1 pi mm mrad for an x-ray FEL. We report high-resolution measurements of the emittance of 125 MeV, monoenergetic beams from a wakefield accelerator. An emittance as low as 1.1 +/- 0.1 pi mm mrad is measured using a pepper-pot mask. This sets an upper limit on the emittance, which is comparable with conventional linear accelerators. A peak transverse brightness of 5 x 10(15) Am-1 rad(-1) makes it suitable for compact XUV FELs.
- wakefield accelerator