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New Paper published in Nature Communications

Demonstration of a compact plasma accelerator powered by laser accelerated electron beams


Plasma particle accelerators get a boost

Left: Laser-driven wakefield accelerator (LWFA) stage with the drive laser propagating to the right shown in red; right: plasma wakefield accelerator (PWFA) driven by the electron beam from the LWFA stage (figure credits: Thomas Heinemann/Strathclyde and Alberto Martinez de la Ossa/DESY).

A team of scientists, led by Prof. Stefan Karsch from LMU Munich and Dr. Arie Irman at HZDR Dresden-Rossendorf, has demonstrated for the first time the acceleration of electrons via a beam of laser-accelerated electrons. This plasma wakefield acceleration offers high field gradients while simulataneously addressing some of the drawbacks of its laser-driven counterpart, laser wakefield acceleration. So far plasma wakefield acceleration was only possible using kilometer-scale RF accelerators, but as shown in the recently published manuscript this acceration scheme can now also be implemented in a compact manner at high-power laser facilities. This hybrid acceleration opens up new possibilities to study plasma acceleration and potentially provide compact, high-brilliance photon sources in the future.

Original publication:

  •  T. Kurz, T. Heinemann, M. F. Gilljohann, Y. Y. Chang, J. P. Couperus Cabada─č, A. Debus, O. Kononenko, R. Pausch, S. Schöbel, R. W. Assmann, M. Bussmann, H. Ding, J. Götzfried, A. Köhler, G. Raj, S. Schindler, K. Steiniger, O. Zarini, S. Corde, A. Döpp, B. Hidding, S. Karsch, U. Schramm, A. Martinez de la Ossa & A. Irman, "Demonstration of a compact plasma accelerator powered by laser-accelerated electron beams", Nature Communications volume 12, Article number: 2895 (2021)