The possibility to accelerate electron beams to ultra-relativistic velocities over short distances by using plasma-based technology holds the potential for a revolution in the field of particle accelerators1–4. The compact nature of plasma-based accelerators would allow the realization of table-top machines capable of driving a free-electron laser (FEL)5, a formidable tool to investigate matter at the sub-atomic level by generating coherent light pulses with sub-ångström wavelengths and sub-femtosecond durations6,7. So far, however, the high-energy electron beams required to operate FELs had to be obtained through the use of conventional large-size radio-frequency (RF) accelerators, bound to a sizeable footprint as a result of their limited accelerating fields. Here we report the experimental evidence of FEL lasing by a compact (3-cm) particle-beam-driven plasma accelerator. The accelerated beams are completely characterized in the six-dimensional phase space and have high quality, comparable with state-of-the-art accelerators8. This allowed the observation of narrow-band amplified radiation in the infrared range with typical exponential growth of its intensity over six consecutive undulators. This proof-of-principle experiment represents a fundamental milestone in the use of plasma-based accelerators, contributing to the development of next-generation compact facilities for user-oriented applications9.

Free-electron lasing with compact beam-driven plasma wakefield accelerator

Carpanese M.;Doria A.;Filippi F.;Nguyen F.;Di Palma E.;Petralia A.;
2022-01-01

Abstract

The possibility to accelerate electron beams to ultra-relativistic velocities over short distances by using plasma-based technology holds the potential for a revolution in the field of particle accelerators1–4. The compact nature of plasma-based accelerators would allow the realization of table-top machines capable of driving a free-electron laser (FEL)5, a formidable tool to investigate matter at the sub-atomic level by generating coherent light pulses with sub-ångström wavelengths and sub-femtosecond durations6,7. So far, however, the high-energy electron beams required to operate FELs had to be obtained through the use of conventional large-size radio-frequency (RF) accelerators, bound to a sizeable footprint as a result of their limited accelerating fields. Here we report the experimental evidence of FEL lasing by a compact (3-cm) particle-beam-driven plasma accelerator. The accelerated beams are completely characterized in the six-dimensional phase space and have high quality, comparable with state-of-the-art accelerators8. This allowed the observation of narrow-band amplified radiation in the infrared range with typical exponential growth of its intensity over six consecutive undulators. This proof-of-principle experiment represents a fundamental milestone in the use of plasma-based accelerators, contributing to the development of next-generation compact facilities for user-oriented applications9.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12079/68171
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