Publications associated with Plasma Theory

Nonlinear wakefields and electron injection in cluster plasma

Physical Review Accelerators and Beams American Physical Society 23 (2020) 093501

M Mayr, B Spiers, R Aboushelbaya, R Paddock, J Sadler, C Sillett, R Wang, K Krushelnick, P Norreys

Laser and beam driven wakefields promise orders of magnitude increases in electric field gradients for particle accelerators for future applications. Key areas to explore include the emittance properties of the generated beams and overcoming the dephasing limit in the plasma. In this paper, the first in-depth study of the self-injection mechanism into wakefield structures from nonhomogeneous cluster plasmas is provided using high-resolution two dimensional particle-in-cell simulations. The clusters which are typical structures caused by ejection of gases from a high-pressure gas jet have a diameter much smaller than the laser wavelength. Conclusive evidence is provided for the underlying mechanism that leads to particle trapping, comparing uniform and cluster plasma cases. The accelerated electron beam properties are found to be tunable by changing the cluster parameters. The mechanism explains enhanced beam charge paired with large transverse momentum and energy which has implications for the betatron x-ray flux. Finally, the impact of clusters on the high-power laser propagation behavior is discussed.

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