Quasi-monoenergetic laser-plasma acceleration of electrons to 2 GeV

Xiaoming Wang, Rafal Zgadzaj, Neil Fazel, Zhengyan Li, S. A. Yi, Xi Zhang, Watson Henderson, Y. Y. Chang, R. Korzekwa, H. E. Tsai, C. H. Pai, H. Quevedo, G. Dyer, E. Gaul, M. Martinez, A. C. Bernstein, T. Borger, M. Spinks, M. Donovan, V. KhudikG. Shvets, T. Ditmire, M. C. Downer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

507 Scopus citations


Laser-plasma accelerators of only a centimetre's length have produced nearly monoenergetic electron bunches with energy as high as 1 GeV. Scaling these compact accelerators to multi-gigaelectronvolt energy would open the prospect of building X-ray free-electron lasers and linear colliders hundreds of times smaller than conventional facilities, but the 1 GeV barrier has so far proven insurmountable. Here, by applying new petawatt laser technology, we produce electron bunches with a spectrum prominently peaked at 2 GeV with only a few per cent energy spread and unprecedented sub-milliradian divergence. Petawatt pulses inject ambient plasma electrons into the laser-driven accelerator at much lower density than was previously possible, thereby overcoming the principal physical barriers to multi-gigaelectronvolt acceleration: dephasing between laser-driven wake and accelerating electrons and laser pulse erosion. Simulations indicate that with improvements in the laser-pulse focus quality, acceleration to nearly 10 GeV should be possible with the available pulse energy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1988
JournalNature Communications
StatePublished - 2013


Dive into the research topics of 'Quasi-monoenergetic laser-plasma acceleration of electrons to 2 GeV'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this