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Theoretical and Experimental Studies of Plasma Formation in Capillary Discharge Waveguides for Plasma-based Accelerators - position filled

(Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare)

There is a growing interest in the development of compact accelerators are able to exceed the current performance limits of conventional radiofrequency-based accelerators.

This Fellowship will be integrated in the research of SPARC_LAB at INFN in Frascati. The idea is to use a gas-filled capillary plasma source  and determine its properties in detail. Moreover, the plasma ramps produced at the ends of the capillary during gas ionization will be studied. This phenomenon represents a critical point for beam quality preservation as the stability and uniformity of the electron density in these areas strongly decrease and, consequently, the beam emittance undergoes a drastic degradation. Theoretical and experimental studies on plasma plumes formation and their effects on the beam will be considered in this research activity, in order to propose a possible solution based on the capillary shape modifications that are able to optimize the density profile at its extremities.

The Fellow will carry out theoretical and experimental studies into plasma plumes formation and their effects on the beam. This is expected to open opportunities for a possible solution based on capillary shape modifications that are able to optimize the density profile at its extremities. The measurements of the plasma density will be performed with spectroscopic measurements of plasma-emitted light. The density distribution for gas-filled capillary discharge will be measured by using the Stark broadening technique as a main method, but other measurement technique will be developed to reach a complete plasma properties characterization. Specifically for EuPRAXIA, long structures for producing and confining plasmas (from 40 cm-long to the m-scale) will need to be used. These need to be able to support the mechanical stress from the high repetition rate of the high-voltage discharges.

The research will include theoretical studies into the neutral gas propagation along the inlet channel as a preparatory phase for plasma formation with high-voltage discharges in collaboration with UROME’s engineering department where the Fellow will be registered for their PhD. A secondment to RACAH will provide insight into different lasers and laser wakefield acceleration schemes; a secondment to HYPATIA will provide cross-sector experience and joint research on precision manufacturing of plasma sources using 3D-printing.

In addition, 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.

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