Narrow bandwidth, low-emittance positron beams from a laser-wakefield accelerator

M. J. V. Streeter, C. Colgan, J. Carderelli, Y. Ma, N. Cavanagh, E. E. Los, H. Ahmed, A. F. Antoine, T. Audet, M. D. Balcazar, L. Calvin, B. Kettle, S. P. D. Mangles, Z. Najmudin, P. P. Rajeev, D. R. Symes, A. G. R. Thomas, G. Sarri*

*Corresponding author for this work

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The rapid progress that plasma wakefield accelerators are experiencing is now posing the question as to whether they could be included in the design of the next generation of high-energy electron-positron colliders. However, the typical structure of the accelerating wakefields presents challenging complications for positron acceleration. Despite seminal proof-of-principle experiments and theoretical proposals, experimental research in plasma-based acceleration of positrons is currently limited by the scarcity of positron beams suitable to seed a plasma accelerator. Here, we report on the first experimental demonstration of a laser-driven source of ultra-relativistic positrons with sufficient spectral and spatial quality to be injected in a plasma accelerator. Our results indicate, in agreement with numerical simulations, selection and transport of positron beamlets containing Ne+ ≥ 105 positrons in a 5% bandwidth around 600 MeV, with femtosecond-scale duration and micron-scale normalised emittance. Particle-in-cell simulations show that positron beams of this kind can be guided and accelerated in a laser-driven plasma accelerator, with favourable scalings to further increase overall charge and energy using PW-scale lasers. The results presented here demonstrate the possibility of performing experimental studies of positron acceleration in a laser-driven wakefield accelerator.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6001
Number of pages11
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 12 Mar 2024


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