Intense gamma-ray source based on focused electron beams from a laser wakefield accelerator

V. Senthilkumaran*, D. Bailie, K. Behm, J. Warwick, G. M. Samarin, A. Maksimchuk, J. Nees, A. G.R. Thomas, G. Sarri, K. Krushelnick, A. E. Hussein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Laser wakefield accelerators generate ultrashort electron bunches with the capability to produce γ-rays. Here, we produce focused laser wakefield acceleration electron beams using three quadrupole magnets. Electron beams are then focused into a 3 mm lead converter to generate intense, focused bremsstrahlung γ beams. Experimental results demonstrate the generation and propagation of focused γ beams to a best focus spot size of 2.3 ± 0.1 × 2.7 ± 0.2 mm2 using a copper stack calorimeter. Monte Carlo simulations conducted using GEANT4 are in good agreement with experimental results and enable detailed examination of γ-ray generation. Simulations indicate that the focused γ beams contained 2.6 × 109 photons in the range of 100 keV to 33 MeV with an average energy of 6.4 MeV. A γ-ray intensity of 7 × 1010 W/cm2 was estimated from simulations. The generation of focused bremsstrahlung γ-ray sources can have important applications in medical imaging applications and laboratory astrophysics experiments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number264103
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number26
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
V.S. and A.E.H. acknowledge support from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (Grant No. RGPIN-2021-04373) and the Alberta Graduate Excellence Scholarship. A.G.R.T. acknowledges support from the National Science Foundation (Grant No. 2108075). G.S. wishes to acknowledge support from Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (Grant Nos. EP/N027175/1 and EP/N022696/1). K.K. acknowledges support from the U.S. DOE grant (Grant No. DE-SC0022109) for the experimental work.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Author(s).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'Intense gamma-ray source based on focused electron beams from a laser wakefield accelerator'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this