Supersonic jets of hydrogen and helium for laser wakefield acceleration

Claes-Göran Wahlström, Kristoffer Svensson, Martin Hansson, F Wojda, Lovisa Senje, Matthias Burza, Bastian Aurand, Guillaume Genoud, Anders Persson, Olle Lundh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The properties of laser wakefield accelerated electrons in supersonic gas flows of hydrogen and helium are investigated. At identical backing pressure, we find that electron beams emerging from helium show large variations in their spectral and spatial distributions, whereas electron beams accelerated in hydrogen plasmas show a higher degree of reproducibility. In an experimental investigation of the relation between neutral gas density and backing pressure, it is found that the resulting number density for helium is ∼30% higher than for hydrogen at the same backing pressure. The observed differences in electron beam properties between the two gases can thus be explained by differences in plasma electron density. This interpretation is verified by repeating the laser wakefield acceleration experiment using similar plasma electron densities for the two gases, which then yielded electron beams with similar properties.
Original languageSwedish
Article number051301
JournalPhysical Review Accelerators and Beams
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Fusion, Plasma and Space Physics
  • Atom and Molecular Physics and Optics

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