2D hydrodynamic simulations of a variable length gas target for density down-ramp injection of electrons into a laser wakefield accelerator

O. Kononenko*, N. C. Lopes, J. M. Cole, C. Kamperidis, S. P.D. Mangles, Z. Najmudin, J. Osterhoff, K. Poder, D. Rusby, D. R. Symes, J. Warwick, J. C. Wood, C. A.J. Palmer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


In this work, two-dimensional (2D) hydrodynamic simulations of a variable length gas cell were performed using the open source fluid code OpenFOAM. The gas cell was designed to study controlled injection of electrons into a laser-driven wakefield at the Astra Gemini laser facility. The target consists of two compartments: an accelerator and an injector section connected via an aperture. A sharp transition between the peak and plateau density regions in the injector and accelerator compartments, respectively, was observed in simulations with various inlet pressures. The fluid simulations indicate that the length of the down-ramp connecting the sections depends on the aperture diameter, as does the density drop outside the entrance and the exit cones. Further studies showed, that increasing the inlet pressure leads to turbulence and strong fluctuations in density along the axial profile during target filling, and consequently, is expected to negatively impact the accelerator stability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-129
Number of pages5
JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment
Early online date02 Apr 2016
Publication statusPublished - 01 Sep 2016


  • Hydrodynamic simulation
  • OpenFOAM
  • Plasma target
  • Plasma wakefield accelerator

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Instrumentation

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