Self injection and radiation production in laser Wakefield accelerators

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

Abstract

The laser wakefield accelerator (LWFA) is a nascent electron acceleration technology characterised by extremely large (100s GV/m) accelerating fields and compact (~ cm) scale. Self-injection is a key mechanism in the production of electron beams from the laser wakefield accelerator (LWFA), where background plasma electrons spontaneously enter the accelerating field region. Self-injection is routinely exploited but a fully self-consistent model for the process is still lacking,as are reliable methods for the control of the self-injection process. In this thesis a model for control of self-injection using plasma density gradients or laser intensity evolution is presented. The model is validated using particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations and injection of sub-femtosecond electron bunches is demonstrated. This control is further exploited to demonstrate injection of a train of multiple electron bunches into the LWFA.An additional characteristic of the LWFA is the strong transverse focusing fields, which cause electrons to undergo betatron motion and emit broadband XUV and X-ray radiation. The previously demonstrated bunching is investigated as a source of tuneable coherent emission. Analytic and numerical models demonstrate coherent enhancement at the bunching wavelength. Finally the stability of the scheme is considered with respect to energy and spatial bunch spreads and found to be viable for tuneable XUV radiation production with current state of the art LWFA bunch parameters.
Date of Award13 Dec 2019
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde
SponsorsEPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council)
SupervisorDino Jaroszynski (Supervisor) & Zheng-Ming Sheng (Supervisor)

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