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Title: Extending laser plasma accelerators into the mid-IR spectral domain with a next-generation ultra-fast CO 2 laser

Here we discuss how expanding the scope of relativistic plasma research to wavelengths longer than λ/≈0.8₋1.1μm covered by conventional mode-locked solid-state lasers would offer attractive opportunities due to the quadratic scaling of the ponderomotive electron energy and critical plasma density with λ. Answering this quest, a next-generation mid-IR laser project is being advanced at the BNL ATF as a part of the user facility upgrade. We discuss the technical approach to this conceptually new 100 TW, 100 fs, λ=9₋11 μm CO 2 laser BESTIA (Brookhaven Experimental Supra-Terawatt Infrared at ATF) that encompasses several innovations applied for the first time to molecular gas lasers. BESTIA will enable new regimes of laser plasma accelerators. One for example is shock-wave ion acceleration from gas jets. We review ongoing efforts to achieve stable, monoenergetic proton acceleration by dynamically shaping the plasma density profile from a hydrogen gas target with laser-produced blast waves. At its full power, 100 TW BESTIA promises to achieve proton beams at energy exceeding 200 MeV. In addition to ion acceleration in over-critical plasma, the ultra-intense mid-IR laser BESTIA will open new opportunities in driving wakefields in tenuous plasmas, expanding the landscape of Laser Wake Field Accelerator (LWFA) studies into unexploredmore » long-wavelength spectral domain. Simple wavelength scaling suggests that a 100-TW CO2 laser beam will be capable to efficiently generate plasma “bubbles” thousand times bigger in volume compared to a near-IR solid state laser of an equivalent power. Combined with a femtosecond electron linac available at the ATF, this wavelength scaling will facilitate study of external seeding and staging of LWFA.« less
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [5]
  1. Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States). Collider-Accelerator Dept.
  2. Imperial College, London (United Kingdom). John Adams Inst. for Accelerator Science, Blackett Lab.
  3. Tsinghua Univ., Beijing (China). Accelerator lab.
  4. Stony Brook Univ., NY (United States)
  5. Naval Research Lab., Washington, DC (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0741-3335; R&D Project: KBCH139; KB0202011
Grant/Contract Number:
SC00112704; SC0012704; EP/K022415/1; ST/J002062/1
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 58; Journal Issue: 3; Journal ID: ISSN 0741-3335
IOP Science
Research Org:
Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Upton, NY (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), High Energy Physics (HEP) (SC-25); Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
Country of Publication:
United States
43 PARTICLE ACCELERATORS; CO2 laser; plasma wakefield; ion beams; laser acceleration
OSTI Identifier: