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Measurements of electron beam ring structures from laser wakefield accelerators

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  • K. Behm
  • A. Hussein
  • T.Z. Zhao
  • S. Dann
  • B.X. Hou
  • V. Yanovsky
  • J. Nees
  • A. Maksimchuk
  • W. Schumaker
  • A.G.R. Thomas
  • K. Krushelnick
Article number065012
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>9/05/2019
<mark>Journal</mark>Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion
Issue number6
Number of pages6
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date11/02/19
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Laser-plasma interaction experiments using a 70 TW short-pulse laser were conducted to investigate the properties of electron beams produced from laser wakefield acceleration. In addition to narrow divergence electron beams in excess of 200 MeV, lower energy components of the electron beam were observed to have an annular emission pattern with much larger divergence. This ring-shaped component of the beam is up to several MeV in energy and gives rise to a corresponding increase in the divergence of bremsstrahlung x-rays while producing more background radiation. Scaling measurements of the emission angle of the beam with respect to plasma density were also made. From 3D numerical simulations of the interaction, it is shown that this phenomenon results from energetic electrons in the laser-driven wakefield which are not trapped by the plasma wave, but which can still obtain some longitudinal momentum from the interaction.