We report on systematic and high-precision measurements of the evolution of electron beams in a laser-wakefield accelerator (LWFA). Utilizing shock-front injection, a technique providing stable, tunable and high-quality electron bunches, acceleration and deceleration of few-MeV quasimonoenergetic beams were measured with cutting-edge technology sub-5-fs and 8-fs laser pulses. We explain the observations with dephasing, an effect that fundamentally limits the performance of LWFAs. Typical density dependent electron energy evolution with 57-300 μm dephasing length and 6-20 MeV peak energy was observed and is well described by a parabolic fit. This is a promising electron source for time-resolved few-fs electron diffraction.
|Journal||Physical Review Accelerators and Beams|
|State||Published - 30 Nov 2020|