Laser technology for Thomson MeV photon sources based on laser-plasma accelerators

C. G.R. Geddes, N. H. Matlis, S. Steinke, E. Esarey, D. E. Mittelberger, S. Rykovanov, C. B. Schroeder, Cs Toth, J. L. Vay, W. P. Leemans

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Applications of nearly monoenergetic photon sources at MeV energies, produced by Thomson scattering of laser light from relativistic electron beams, are presently restricted to fixed facilities. Compact sources are important, but require laser development to power three enabling components: laser-plasma accelerator (LPA), scattering laser, and active electron beam dump. Recent experiments establishing a baseline for the accelerator have shown that tuning the spot quality over the full focal depth of the laser greatly improves LPA performance compared to optimizing the spot at the focal plane only. This enables Joule-class, 40 femtosecond pulsed lasers to drive the accelerator at the 0.2-0.5 GeV energy class, in agreement with the predictions of simulations. Designs for Thomson scattering sources utilizing the unique properties of LPAs also permit use of Joule-class scattering lasers, with ps pulse length. The size of the beam dump required for the high energy electrons can further be mitigated by deaccelerating the electrons in the plasma structure (with similar laser requirements to the accelerator). Joule class laser development at kHz repetition rates and with 0.04 to 10 ps pulse lengths would thus enable important new applications in nuclear nonproliferation, physics, and contraband detection. These requirements are a stepping stone to future systems relevant to high energy physics colliders.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvanced Accelerator Concepts 2014
Subtitle of host publication16th Advanced Accelerator Concepts Workshop
EditorsMark J. Hogan
PublisherAmerican Institute of Physics Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9780735414396
Publication statusPublished - 28 Oct 2016
Externally publishedYes
Event16th Advanced Accelerator Concepts Workshop, AAC 2014 - San Jose, United States
Duration: 13 Jul 201418 Jul 2014

Publication series

NameAIP Conference Proceedings
ISSN (Print)0094-243X
ISSN (Electronic)1551-7616


Conference16th Advanced Accelerator Concepts Workshop, AAC 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Jose


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