Effect of contrast ratio on electron beam stability in laser wakefield acceleration experiments

SPD Mangles, AGR Thomas, AGR Thomas, MC Kaluza, MC Kaluza, Olle Lundh, Filip Lindau, Anders Persson, Z Najmudin, Z Najmudin, Claes-Göran Wahlström, CD Murphy, CD Murphy, C Kamperidis, C Kamperidis, KL Lancaster, KL Lancaster, E Divall, K Krushelnick, E DivallK Krushelnick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Citations (SciVal)


Laser wakefield accelerators offer the possibility of compact electron acceleration. However one of the key outstanding issues with the results reported to date is the electron beam stability. Experiments on two laser systems reveal that the contrast ratio between the ASE pedestal and main pulse is an important factor in determining the quality of the electron beam. With a high contrast ratio (10^8) the electron beam profile is a well collimated single beam having a low pointing instability (<10 mrad rms). With a lower contrast (10^6) the beam profile contains multiple beamlets which exhibit a large
pointing instability (~50 mrad rms). Ahigh contrast ratio not only improves the beam pointing stability (~6 mrad) but also stabilizes the electron beam energy reproducibility (5%).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)B83-B90
JournalPlasma Physics and Controlled Fusion
Issue number12B
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Atom and Molecular Physics and Optics


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