Plasma photocathodes

Ahmad Fahim Habib, Thomas Heinemann, Grace G. Manahan, Daniel Ullmann, Paul Scherkl, Alexander Knetsch, Andrew Sutherland, Andrew Beaton, David Campbell, Lorne Rutherford, Lewis Boulton, Alastair Nutter, Oliver S. Karger, Michael D. Litos, Brendon D. O’Shea, Gerard Andonian, David L. Bruhwiler, Georg Pretzler, Thomas Wilson, Zhengming ShengMichael Stumpf, Lars Reichwein, Alexander Pukhov, John R. Cary, Mark J. Hogan, Vitaly Yakimenko, James B. Rosenzweig, Bernhard Hidding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Downloads (Pure)


Plasma wakefield accelerators offer accelerating and focusing electric fields three to four orders of magnitude larger than state-of-the-art radiofrequency cavity-based accelerators. Plasma photocathodes can release ultracold electron populations within such plasma waves and thus open a path toward tunable production of well-defined, compact electron beams with normalized emittance and brightness many orders of magnitude better than state-of-the-art. Such beams will have far-reaching impact for applications such as light sources, but also open up new vistas on high energy and high field physics. This paper reviews the innovation of plasma photocathodes, and reports on the experimental progress, challenges, and future prospects of the approach. Details of the proof-of-concept demonstration of a plasma photocathode in 90° geometry at SLAC FACET within the E-210: Trojan Horse program are described. Using this experience, alongside theoretical and simulation-supported advances, an outlook is given on future realizations of plasma photocathodes such as the upcoming E-310: Trojan Horse-II program at FACET-II with prospects toward excellent witness beam parameter quality, tunability, and stability. Future installations of plasma photocathodes also at compact, hybrid plasma wakefield accelerators, will then boost capacities and open up novel capabilities for experiments at the forefront of interaction of high brightness electron and photon beams.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2200655
Number of pages26
JournalAnnalen der Physik
Issue number10
Early online date17 Sept 2023
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2023


  • laser-plasma interactions
  • particle acceleration
  • photocathodes
  • plasma wakefield acceleration
  • ultrabright electron beams
  • plasma photocathode


Dive into the research topics of 'Plasma photocathodes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this