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Title: Terahertz-driven linear electron acceleration

The cost, size and availability of electron accelerators are dominated by the achievable accelerating gradient. Conventional high-brightness radio-frequency accelerating structures operate with 30–50 MeVm-1 gradients. Electron accelerators driven with optical or infrared sources have demonstrated accelerating gradients orders of magnitude above that achievable with conventional radio-frequency structures. However, laser-driven wakefield accelerators require intense femtosecond sources and direct laser-driven accelerators suffer from low bunch charge, sub-micron tolerances and sub-femtosecond timing requirements due to the short wavelength of operation. Here we demonstrate linear acceleration of electrons with keV energy gain using optically generated terahertz pulses. Terahertz-driven accelerating structures enable high-gradient electron/proton accelerators with simple accelerating structures, high repetition rates and significant charge per bunch. As a result, these ultra-compact terahertz accelerators with extremely short electron bunches hold great potential to have a transformative impact for free electron lasers, linear colliders, ultrafast electron diffraction, X-ray science and medical therapy with X-rays and electron beams.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5]
  1. Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States)
  2. Hamburg Center for Ultrafast Imaging, Hamburg (Germany); German Electron Synchrotron, Hamburg (Germany)
  3. Univ. of Toronto, Toronto, ON (Canada)
  4. German Electron Synchrotron, Hamburg (Germany); Univ. of Toronto, Toronto, ON (Canada); Max Planck Inst. for Structure and Dynamics of Matter, Hamburg (Germany)
  5. Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States); Hamburg Center for Ultrafast Imaging, Hamburg (Germany); German Electron Synchrotron, Hamburg (Germany); Univ. of Hamburg, Hamburg (Germany)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1239324
Grant/Contract Number:
FG02-08ER41532
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 6; Journal ID: ISSN 2041-1723
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; 70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY physical sciences; optical physics; fluids and plasma physics