Compton recoil effects in staging of laser wakefield accelerators

M. J.V. Streeter, Z. Najmudin

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Laser plasma accelerators capable of generating >10 GeV electron beams may require plasma mirrors to remove undepleted laser energy at the end of each accelerator stage. Near the plasma mirror surface, the electron bunch can interact with the reflected light, resulting in inverse Compton scattering. For realistic conditions, we show that a significant fraction of electrons emit one or more photons, increasing the energy spread of the electron bunch. We provide an analytical expression for calculating this effect, and use it to estimate the minimum drift space required before the plasma mirror to meet given energy spread specifications. Mitigation strategies, necessary to achieve sub-percent energy spread in multi-GeV laser wakefield electron sources, are proposed and explored.

Original languageEnglish
Article number071602
JournalPhysical Review Accelerators and Beams
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jul 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
M. S. thanks D. Seipt, E. Gerstmayr, R. Watt and B. Appelbe for valuable discussions and D. Seipt for calculations. We acknowledge funding from Science and Technology Facilities Council Grant No. ST/P002021/1 and the EU Horizon 2020 research and innovation Program Grant No. 653782.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 authors. Published by the American Physical Society.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)
  • Surfaces and Interfaces


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