Optical plasma torch electron bunch generation in plasma wakefield accelerators

G. Wittig, O. Karger, A. Knetsch, Y. Xi, A. Deng, J. B. Rosenzweig, D. L. Bruhwiler, J. Smith, G. G. Manahan, Z.-M. Sheng, D. A. Jaroszynski, B. Hidding

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A novel, flexible method of witness electron bunch generation in plasma wakefield accelerators is described. A quasistationary plasma region is ignited by a focused laser pulse prior to the arrival of the plasma wave. This localized, shapeable optical plasma torch causes a strong distortion of the plasma blowout during passage of the electron driver bunch, leading to collective alteration of plasma electron trajectories and to controlled injection. This optically steered injection is more flexible and faster when compared to hydro-dynamically controlled gas density transition injection methods.
Original languageEnglish
Article number081304
Number of pages6
JournalPhysical Review Special Topics: Accelerators and Beams
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2015


  • plasma wakefield acceleration
  • laser pulse
  • plasma wave
  • gas density
  • plasma electron trajectories

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