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Short-pulse Laser-driven Injector

(Lunds Universitet)

This project targets research into a short-pulse laser-driven injector. The objective is to develop and test new laser-driven electron injector concepts, benefiting from access to a unique multi-TW laser system that will be commissioned at the University of Lund in 2023.

The technique is based on optical parametric chirped pulse amplification (OPCPA), and promises access to sub-10 fs laser pulses at up to 100 Hz repetition rate. These parameters allow the laser pulse to be directly matched to the plasma period, and since there is no nonlinear pulse compression needed in the plasma, it is expected to lead to stable and reproducible acceleration up to 200 MeV.

The Fellow will study a parameter space that will unlock new means of pulse shaping and acceleration. For example, the carrier frequency phase is locked to the pulse intensity envelope and can be manipulated to steer injection of plasma electrons into the accelerating phase of the plasma. Moreover, the broad laser spectrum can be leveraged to tailor the spatio-temporal pulse shape for optimum acceleration.

In a laser-wakefield electron accelerator, the maximum electron energy obtained in a single stage is limited since the accelerated electrons move faster than the laser pulse in the plasma. This mismatch usually leads to a slippage of the electrons in the plasma wave, and eventually the electrons outrun the driving laser pulse. This project aims to overcome dephasing and to increase the maximum energy that can be obtained in a single stage by locking the accelerating phase through pulse shaping.

The Fellow will have access to the wide-ranging EuPRAXIA-DN training program which will include several international schools and workshops on plasma accelerator science and technology, as well as complementary skills. A 4-week secondment to IST in Portugal will provide critical insight into high performance computing challenges.

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