Quasimonoenergetic electron acceleration in the self-modulated laser wakefield regime

B. Hidding, M. Geissler, G. Pretzler, K. U. Amthor, H. Schwoerer, S. Karsch, L. Veisz, K. Schmid, R. Sauerbrey

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Details on the generation of (multiple) quasimonoenergetic electron bunches in the self-modulated laser wakefield acceleration (SMLWFA) regime are presented. This type of laser-plasma interaction can result in pronounced longitudinal laser pulse fragmentation, dependent on plasma density and laser intensity. It is shown by experiments and particle-in-cell simulations that these laser pulse fragments can be powerful enough to trigger nonlinear plasma wave breaking, injection, and acceleration of electrons to quasimonoenergetic energies. With high plasma densities, self-modulation is promoted, and the advantages of SMLWFA such as especially high accelerating fields and short electron bunches (<5 fs) can be harvested. In addition, more than one quasimonoenergetic electron bunch can be created, with a temporal spacing between each bunch of only few tens of femtoseconds, again governed by plasma density.

Original languageEnglish
Article number043105
Number of pages11
JournalPhysics of Plasmas
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 11 May 2009


  • quasimonoenergetic electron bunches
  • laser-plasma interaction
  • high electron density
  • electron energy


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