Ultracold electron bunch generation via plasma photocathode emission and acceleration in a beam-driven plasma blowout

B. Hidding, G. Pretzler, J.B. Rosenzweig, T. Königstein, D. Schiller, D.L. Bruhwiler

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Beam-driven plasma wakefield acceleration using low-ionization-threshold gas such as Li is combined with laser-controlled electron injection via ionization of high-ionization-threshold gas such as He. The He electrons are released with low transverse momentum in the focus of the copropagating, nonrelativistic-intensity laser pulse directly inside the accelerating or focusing phase of the Li blowout. This concept paves the way for the generation of sub-μm-size, ultralow-emittance, highly tunable electron bunches, thus enabling a flexible new class of an advanced free electron laser capable high-field accelerator. © 2012 American Physical Society.
Original languageEnglish
Article number035001
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jan 2012


  • free electron laser
  • photocathode emission
  • ultracold electrons

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