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Title: Electron pulse train accelerated by a linearly polarized Laguerre–Gaussian laser beam
Abstract A linearly polarized Laguerre–Gaussian (LP-LG) laser beam with a twist index $l = -1$ has field structure that fundamentally differs from the field structure of a conventional linearly polarized Gaussian beam. Close to the axis of the LP-LG beam, the longitudinal electric and magnetic fields dominate over the transverse components. This structure offers an attractive opportunity to accelerate electrons in vacuum. It is shown, using three-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations, that this scenario can be realized by reflecting an LP-LG laser off a plasma with a sharp density gradient. The simulations indicate that a 600 TW LP-LG laser beam effectively injects electrons into the beam during the reflection. The electrons that are injected close to the laser axis experience a prolonged longitudinal acceleration by the longitudinal laser electric field. The electrons form distinct monoenergetic bunches with a small divergence angle. The energy in the most energetic bunch is 0.29 GeV. The bunch charge is 6 pC and its duration is approximately $270$ as. The divergence angle is just ${0.57}^{\circ }$ (10 mrad). By using a linearly polarized rather than a circularly polarized Laguerre–Gaussian beam, our scheme makes it easier to demonstrate the electron acceleration experimentally at a high-power laser facility.  more » « less
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High Power Laser Science and Engineering
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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