Betatron x-ray radiation, driven by electrons from laser-wakefield acceleration, has unique properties to probe high energy density (HED) plasmas and warm dense matter. Betatron radiation is produced when relativistic electrons oscillate in the plasma wake of a laser pulse. Its properties are similar to those of synchrotron radiation, with a 1000 fold shorter pulse. This presentation will focus on the experimental challenges and results related to the development of betatron radiation in the self modulated regime of laser wakefield acceleration.
We observed multi keV Betatron x-rays from a self-modulated laser wakefield accelerator. The experiment was performed at the Jupiter Laser Facility, LLNL, by focusing the Titan short pulse beam (4-150 J, 1 ps) onto the edge of a Helium gas jet at electronic densities around 1019 cm-3. For the first time on this laser system, we used a long focal length optic, which produced a laser normalized potential a0 in the range 1-3. Under these conditions, electrons are accelerated by the plasma wave created in the wake of the light pulse. As a result, intense Raman satellites, which measured shifts depend on the electron plasma density, were observed on the laser spectrum transmitted through the target. Electrons with energies up to 200 MeV, as well as Betatron x-rays with critical energies around 20 keV, were measured. OSIRIS 2D PIC simulations confirm that the electrons gain energy both from the plasma wave and from their interaction with the laser field.
Felicie Albert, "Betatron x-ray radiation in the self-modulated wakefield acceleration regime (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10234, Relativistic Plasma Waves and Particle Beams as Coherent and Incoherent Radiation Sources II, 1023402 (Presented at SPIE Optics + Optoelectronics: April 27, 2017; Published: 21 June 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2265936.5463398341001.
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