Ultrafast betatron x-ray emission from electron oscillations in laser wakefield acceleration (LWFA) has been widely investigated as a promising source. Betatron x-rays are usually produced via self-injected electron beams, which are not controllable and are not optimized for x-ray yields. Here, we present a new method for bright hard x-ray emission via ionization injection from the K-shell electrons of nitrogen into the accelerating bucket. A total photon yield of 8 × 108/shot and 108 photons with energy greater than 110 keV is obtained. The yield is 10 times higher than that achieved with self-injection mode in helium under similar laser parameters. The simulation suggests that ionization-injected electrons are quickly accelerated to the driving laser region and are subsequently driven into betatron resonance. The present scheme enables the single-stage betatron radiation from LWFA to be extended to bright γ-ray radiation, which is beyond the capability of 3rd generation synchrotrons.
- plasma-based accelerators
- ultrafast photonics