The properties of laser wakefield accelerated electrons in supersonic gas flows of hydrogen and helium are investigated. At identical backing pressure, we find that electron beams emerging from helium show large variations in their spectral and spatial distributions, whereas electron beams accelerated in hydrogen plasmas show a higher degree of reproducibility. In an experimental investigation of the relation between neutral gas density and backing pressure, it is found that the resulting number density for helium is ∼30% higher than for hydrogen at the same backing pressure. The observed differences in electron beam properties between the two gases can thus be explained by differences in plasma electron density. This interpretation is verified by repeating the laser wakefield acceleration experiment using similar plasma electron densities for the two gases, which then yielded electron beams with similar properties.
|Journal||Physical Review Accelerators and Beams|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2016|
|MoE publication type||A1 Journal article-refereed|