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Improvements to laser wakefield accelerated electron beam stability, divergence, and energy spread using three-dimensional printed two-stage gas cell targets

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  • M. Vargas
  • W. Schumaker
  • Z-H He
  • Z. Zhao
  • K. Behm
  • V. Chvykov
  • B. Hou
  • K. Krushelnick
  • A. Maksimchuk
  • V. Yanovsky
  • A. G. R. Thomas
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Article number174103
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>28/04/2014
<mark>Journal</mark>Applied Physics Letters
Issue number17
Volume104
Number of pages5
<mark>State</mark>Published
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

High intensity, short pulse lasers can be used to accelerate electrons to ultra-relativistic energies via laser wakefield acceleration (LWFA) [T. Tajima and J. M. Dawson, Phys. Rev. Lett. 43, 267 (1979)]. Recently, it was shown that separating the injection and acceleration processes into two distinct stages could prove beneficial in obtaining stable, high energy electron beams [Gonsalves et al., Nat. Phys. 7, 862 (2011); Liu et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 107, 035001 (2011); Pollock et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 107, 045001 (2011)]. Here, we use a stereolithography based 3D printer to produce two-stage gas targets for LWFA experiments on the HERCULES laser system at the University of Michigan. We demonstrate substantial improvements to the divergence, pointing stability, and energy spread of a laser wakefield accelerated electron beam compared with a single-stage gas cell or gas jet target. (C) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC.