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Journal Articles Nature Physics Year : 2016

Vacuum laser acceleration of relativistic electrons using plasma mirror injectors

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Abstract

Accelerating particles to relativistic energies over very short distances using lasers has been a long-standing goal in physics. Among the various schemes proposed for electrons, vacuum laser acceleration has attracted considerable interest and has been extensively studied theoretically because of its appealing simplicity: electrons interact with an intense laser field in vacuum and can be continuously accelerated, provided they remain at a given phase of the field until they escape the laser beam. But demonstrating this effect experimentally has proved extremely challenging, as it imposes stringent requirements on the conditions of injection of electrons in the laser field. Here, we solve this long-standing experimental problem by using a plasma mirror to inject electrons in an ultraintense laser field, and obtain clear evidence of vacuum laser acceleration. With the advent of petawatt lasers, this scheme could provide a competitive source of very high charge (nC) and ultrashort relativistic electron beams.

Dates and versions

cea-01302631 , version 1 (14-04-2016)

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Cite

M. Thévenet, A. Leblanc, S. Kahaly, H. Vincenti, A. Vernier, et al.. Vacuum laser acceleration of relativistic electrons using plasma mirror injectors. Nature Physics, 2016, 12, pp.355-360 ⟨10.1038/nphys3597⟩. ⟨cea-01302631⟩
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