Enhanced electron yield from a laser-plasma accelerator using high-Z gas jet targets

Research paper by Mohammad Mirzaie, Nasr A. M. Hafz, Song Li, Thomas Sokollik, Fei He, Ya Cheng, Zhengming Sheng, Jie Zhang

Indexed on: 08 Oct '14Published on: 08 Oct '14Published in: Physics - Plasma Physics


An investigation of the multi-hundred MeV electron beam yield (charge) form helium, nitrogen, neon and argon gas jet plasmas in a laser-plasma wakefield acceleration experiment was carried out. The charge measurement has been made via imaging the electron beam intensity profile on a fluorescent screen into a 14-bit charge coupled device (CCD) which was cross-calibrated with nondestructive electronics-based method. Within given laser and plasma parameters, we found that laser-driven low Z- gas jet targets generate high-quality and well-collimated electron beams with reasonable yields at the level of 10-100 pC. On the other hand, filamentary electron beams which were observed from high-Z gas jets at higher densities reached much higher yield. Evidences for cluster formation were clearly observed in high-Z gases, especially in the argon gas jet target where we received the highest yield of ~ 3 nC