Monoenergetic beams of relativistic electrons from intense laser-plasma interactions

S.P.D. Mangles, C.D. Murphy, Z. Najmudin, A.G.R. Thomas, J.L. Collier, A.E. Dangor, E.J. Divall, P.S. Foster, J.G. Gallacher, C.J. Hooker, D.A. Jaroszynski, A.J. Langley, W.B. Mori, P.A. Norreys, F.S. Tsung, R. Viskup, B.R. Walton, K. Krushelnick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1554 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

High-power lasers that fit into a university-scale laboratory can now reach focused intensities of more than 1019 W cm-2 at high repetition rates. Such lasers are capable of producing beams of energetic electrons protons and gamma-rays. Relativistic electrons are generated through the breaking of large-amplitude relativistic plasma waves created in the wake of the laser pulse as it propagates through a plasma, or through a direct interaction between the laser field and the electrons in the plasma. However, the electron beams produced from previous laser-plasma experiments have a large energy spread limiting their use for potential applications. Here we report high-resolution energy measurements of the electron beams produced from intense laser-plasma interactions, showing that - under particular plasma conditions - it is possible to generate beams of relativistic electrons with low divergence and a small energy spread (less than three per cent). The monoenergetic features were observed in the electron energy spectrum for plasma densities just above a threshold required for breaking of the plasma wave. These features were observed consistently in the electron spectrum, although the energy of the beam was observed to vary from shot to shot. If the issue of energy reproducibility can be addressed, it should be possible to generate ultrashort monoenergetic electron bunches of tunable energy, holding great promise for the future development of 'table-top' particle accelerators.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)535-538
Number of pages3
JournalNature
Volume431
Issue number7008
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sep 2004

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laser plasma interactions
electrons
plasma waves
shot
energy
electron beams
lasers
relativistic plasmas
particle accelerators
laser plasmas
wakes
high power lasers
plasma density
repetition
divergence
energy spectra
gamma rays
electron energy
thresholds
protons

Keywords

  • monoenergetic beams
  • electrons
  • plasma
  • lasers
  • nature

Cite this

Mangles, S. P. D., Murphy, C. D., Najmudin, Z., Thomas, A. G. R., Collier, J. L., Dangor, A. E., ... Krushelnick, K. (2004). Monoenergetic beams of relativistic electrons from intense laser-plasma interactions. Nature, 431(7008), 535-538. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature02939
Mangles, S.P.D. ; Murphy, C.D. ; Najmudin, Z. ; Thomas, A.G.R. ; Collier, J.L. ; Dangor, A.E. ; Divall, E.J. ; Foster, P.S. ; Gallacher, J.G. ; Hooker, C.J. ; Jaroszynski, D.A. ; Langley, A.J. ; Mori, W.B. ; Norreys, P.A. ; Tsung, F.S. ; Viskup, R. ; Walton, B.R. ; Krushelnick, K. / Monoenergetic beams of relativistic electrons from intense laser-plasma interactions. In: Nature. 2004 ; Vol. 431, No. 7008. pp. 535-538.
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Mangles, SPD, Murphy, CD, Najmudin, Z, Thomas, AGR, Collier, JL, Dangor, AE, Divall, EJ, Foster, PS, Gallacher, JG, Hooker, CJ, Jaroszynski, DA, Langley, AJ, Mori, WB, Norreys, PA, Tsung, FS, Viskup, R, Walton, BR & Krushelnick, K 2004, 'Monoenergetic beams of relativistic electrons from intense laser-plasma interactions', Nature, vol. 431, no. 7008, pp. 535-538. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature02939

Monoenergetic beams of relativistic electrons from intense laser-plasma interactions. / Mangles, S.P.D.; Murphy, C.D.; Najmudin, Z.; Thomas, A.G.R.; Collier, J.L.; Dangor, A.E.; Divall, E.J.; Foster, P.S.; Gallacher, J.G.; Hooker, C.J.; Jaroszynski, D.A.; Langley, A.J.; Mori, W.B.; Norreys, P.A.; Tsung, F.S.; Viskup, R.; Walton, B.R.; Krushelnick, K.

In: Nature, Vol. 431, No. 7008, 30.09.2004, p. 535-538.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Monoenergetic beams of relativistic electrons from intense laser-plasma interactions

AU - Mangles, S.P.D.

AU - Murphy, C.D.

AU - Najmudin, Z.

AU - Thomas, A.G.R.

AU - Collier, J.L.

AU - Dangor, A.E.

AU - Divall, E.J.

AU - Foster, P.S.

AU - Gallacher, J.G.

AU - Hooker, C.J.

AU - Jaroszynski, D.A.

AU - Langley, A.J.

AU - Mori, W.B.

AU - Norreys, P.A.

AU - Tsung, F.S.

AU - Viskup, R.

AU - Walton, B.R.

AU - Krushelnick, K.

PY - 2004/9/30

Y1 - 2004/9/30

N2 - High-power lasers that fit into a university-scale laboratory can now reach focused intensities of more than 1019 W cm-2 at high repetition rates. Such lasers are capable of producing beams of energetic electrons protons and gamma-rays. Relativistic electrons are generated through the breaking of large-amplitude relativistic plasma waves created in the wake of the laser pulse as it propagates through a plasma, or through a direct interaction between the laser field and the electrons in the plasma. However, the electron beams produced from previous laser-plasma experiments have a large energy spread limiting their use for potential applications. Here we report high-resolution energy measurements of the electron beams produced from intense laser-plasma interactions, showing that - under particular plasma conditions - it is possible to generate beams of relativistic electrons with low divergence and a small energy spread (less than three per cent). The monoenergetic features were observed in the electron energy spectrum for plasma densities just above a threshold required for breaking of the plasma wave. These features were observed consistently in the electron spectrum, although the energy of the beam was observed to vary from shot to shot. If the issue of energy reproducibility can be addressed, it should be possible to generate ultrashort monoenergetic electron bunches of tunable energy, holding great promise for the future development of 'table-top' particle accelerators.

AB - High-power lasers that fit into a university-scale laboratory can now reach focused intensities of more than 1019 W cm-2 at high repetition rates. Such lasers are capable of producing beams of energetic electrons protons and gamma-rays. Relativistic electrons are generated through the breaking of large-amplitude relativistic plasma waves created in the wake of the laser pulse as it propagates through a plasma, or through a direct interaction between the laser field and the electrons in the plasma. However, the electron beams produced from previous laser-plasma experiments have a large energy spread limiting their use for potential applications. Here we report high-resolution energy measurements of the electron beams produced from intense laser-plasma interactions, showing that - under particular plasma conditions - it is possible to generate beams of relativistic electrons with low divergence and a small energy spread (less than three per cent). The monoenergetic features were observed in the electron energy spectrum for plasma densities just above a threshold required for breaking of the plasma wave. These features were observed consistently in the electron spectrum, although the energy of the beam was observed to vary from shot to shot. If the issue of energy reproducibility can be addressed, it should be possible to generate ultrashort monoenergetic electron bunches of tunable energy, holding great promise for the future development of 'table-top' particle accelerators.

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KW - lasers

KW - nature

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Mangles SPD, Murphy CD, Najmudin Z, Thomas AGR, Collier JL, Dangor AE et al. Monoenergetic beams of relativistic electrons from intense laser-plasma interactions. Nature. 2004 Sep 30;431(7008):535-538. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature02939