On the stability of laser wakefield electron accelerators in the monoenergetic regime
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The effects of plasma density and laser energy on the stability of laser produced monoenergetic electron beams are investigated. Fluctuations in the principal beam parameters, namely, electron energy, energy-spread, charge, and pointing, are demonstrated to be minimized at low densities. This improvement in stability is attributed to the reduced time for pulse evolution required before self-injection occurs; i.e., that the pulse is closest to the matched conditions for these densities. It is also observed that electrons are only consistently produced above a density-dependent energy threshold. These observations are consistent with there being a threshold intensity (a(0)greater than or similar to 3) required for the occurrence of self-injection after accounting for pulse compression. (C) 2007 American Institute of Physics.