Low emittance electron beam generation from a laser wakefield accelerator using two laser pulses with different wavelengths

X. L. Xu, Y. P. Wu, C. J. Zhang, F. Li, Y. Wan, J. F. Hua, C. H. Pai, W. Lu, P. Yu, C. Joshi, W. B. Mori

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40 Scopus citations

Abstract

Ionization injection triggered by short wavelength laser pulses inside a nonlinear wakefield driven by a longer wavelength laser is examined via multidimensional particle-in-cell simulations. We find that very bright electron beams can be generated through this two-color scheme in either collinear propagating or transverse colliding geometry. For a fixed laser intensity I, lasers with longer/shorter wavelength λ have larger/smaller ponderomotive potential (AIλ2). The two-color scheme utilizes this property to separate the injection process from the wakefield excitation process. Very strong wakes can be generated at relatively low laser intensities by using a longer wavelength laser driver (e.g., a 10μm CO2 laser) due to its very large ponderomotive potential. On the other hand, a short wavelength laser can produce electrons with very small residual momenta (pA∼a0∼Iλ) inside the wake, leading to electron beams with very small normalized emittances (tens of nm). Using particle-in-cell simulations we show that a ∼10fs electron beam with ∼4pC of charge and a normalized emittance of ∼50nm can be generated by combining a 10μm driving laser with a 400 nm injection laser, which is an improvement of more than 1 order of magnitude compared to the typical results obtained when a single wavelength laser is used for both the wake formation and ionization injection. With the transverse colliding geometry, simulations show that similarly low emittance and much lower slice energy spread (∼30keV, comparing with the typical value of few MeV in the longitudinal injection scheme) can be simultaneously obtained for electron beams with a few pC charge. Such low slice energy spread may have significant advantages in applications relevant to future coherent light sources driven by plasma accelerators.

Original languageEnglish
Article number061301
JournalPhysical Review Special Topics - Accelerators and Beams
Volume17
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 13 Jun 2014

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