Harnessing laser-driven plasma waves as particle and radiation sources

Lead Research Organisation: University of Strathclyde
Department Name: Physics

Abstract

We propose to build on the successes of the ALPHA-X project with a new programme of research to investigate and develop novel compact radiation sources that explicitly exploit laser-driven plasma waves. The project will take forward the development of wakefield accelerators and utilise the sub-10 fs electron bunches accelerated in plasma channels to produce ultra-short pulses of coherent infrared to x-ray radiation in a FEL and coherent radiator structures. The main objective will be to push towards hard x-rays and gamma rays by utilising the very short spatial period undulator-like structures of plasma waves to lay down the foundations of sources in a spectral region hitherto not accessible. We will also push the frontiers of ultra-short pulse generation by: i) controlling and reducing the electron bunch duration from wakefield accelerators using pre-bunching techniques, which will also increase the peak current available while reducing the pulse length from a radiation source, and by ii) investigating the generation and tailoring of arbitrary shaped single-cycle pulses (initially in the visible) by backscattering tailored terahertz pulses from relativistic mirrors formed by relativistic plasma wakes and ionisation fronts. The experimental programme to develop these novel compact radiation sources will utilise the unique facilities at Strathclyde, set up under the ALPHA-X project, and resources available in the EU, US and China, to provide a mix of long-term development programmes and short-term (6-week) campaigns that take advantage of the particular laser beam characteristics available at the facilities. An important aspect of the project will be a substantial theoretical programme that will be undertaken by an established team of theoreticians that has previously worked together under ALPHA-X, and new teams that bring new approaches and backgrounds to bear on the significant theoretical challenges. The large group of collaborators provide both breadth and depth to the programme, and through their contributions and access to their various facilities, will also enable very effective use of resources. The programme of research is central to a UK roadmap that outlines potential new landscapes and ways forward in the field.

Publications

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Reitsma A (2008) Propagation of a Short Intense Laser Pulse in a Curved Plasma Channel in IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science

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Reitsma A (2008) Limits of validity of photon-in-cell simulation techniques in Physics of Plasmas

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Rowlands-Rees TP (2008) Laser-driven acceleration of electrons in a partially ionized plasma channel. in Physical review letters

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Schlenvoigt H (2008) Synchrotron Radiation From Laser-Accelerated Monoenergetic Electrons in IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science

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Shepherd B (2011) Design, measurement and correction of a pair of novel focusing undulators for the ALPHA-X project in Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment

 
Description Development and characterisation of high energy electron beams from the laser-plasma wakefield accelerator (LWFA).

Measured record breaking emittance, energy spread and stability of a LWFA source.

Undertook the first demonstration of a LWFA based synchrotron source in the visible.

Demonstrated 800 MeV beams from a LWFA based on a preformed plasma capillary waveguide.

Measured the electron bunch duration from a LWFA.

Undertook applications of the LWFA for radio-therapy, isotope production and imaging.

Carried our phase-contrast imaging studies using the LWFA betatron source.

Undertook theoretical investigations of resonant betatron emission as the first step to developing an ion channel laser.
Exploitation Route Development of coherent radiation sources based on laser-plasma wakefield accelerators.

Development of a high current sources for radiation damage studies, relevant to fusion studies.

Development of new particle beam radio-therapy modalities and gamma knife therapy for cancer treatment.

Ultimately replace some conventional accelerators and radiation sources with ones based on laser-plasma accelerators.
Sectors Chemicals,Education,Electronics,Energy,Environment,Healthcare,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology,Security and Diplomacy

URL http://phys.strath.ac.uk/alpha-x/
 
Description The project has contributed to the development and establishment of a new centre for the application of plasma-based accelerators, which has wide applications across wide community of scientists, healthcare workers and industrialists.
First Year Of Impact 2015
Sector Chemicals,Education,Electronics,Energy,Environment,Healthcare
Impact Types Societal,Economic

 
Description EPSRC
Amount £1,930,000 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/J500094/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2011 
End 09/2018
 
Description STFC Laboratories (Grouped)
Amount £122,000 (GBP)
Funding ID ST/H003703/1 
Organisation Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2011 
End 03/2014
 
Description Standard mode grant request
Amount £4,455,071 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/N028694/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2016 
End 03/2020
 
Title Generation of intense coherent THz, XUV and X-ray radiation 
Description We are developing coherent radiation sources based on laser-plasma interactions and are investigating several novel methods. One method uses the plasma bubble as an X-ray radiation sources, while the other uses a pre-formed plasma ion channel as a wiggler. We are also investigating using the high charge electron bunches that are emitted from the plasma bubble as a means of producing very high energy (relativity) THz pulses. We are also exploring using plasma dipoles excited using counter-propagating pulses in plasma as an efficient source of THz radiation. The Z-ray/XUV pulses have durations of attoseconds to femtoseconds. The THz pulses are either single to a few cycle duration. The radiation pulses are intrinsically synchronised with the driving laser pulses. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Could provide powerful tools for scientists and technologists. 
 
Title Chirped pulse Raman amplification in warm plasma: towards controlling saturation 
Description Presentation of the raw datasets from an experimental campaign conducted at Strathclyde University using the TOPS lab, studying Raman amplification in plasma. These data lead to a publication in Scientific Reports in 2015. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Not recorded 
 
Title Coherent radiation sources based on laser driven plasma waves 
Description Data from simulations and experiments as a general overview of the project. For further details of the txt files in the dataset see the accompanying Readme file 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2016 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Not Applicable 
 
Description Joint research with CCLRC 
Organisation STFC Laboratories
Department Council for the Central Laboratory of the Research Councils (CCLRC)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution University of Strathclyde researchers worked on this project with researchers from CCLRC
Start Year 2007
 
Description Joint research with Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine 
Organisation Imperial College London
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution University of Strathclyde researchers worked on this project with researchers from Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine. Strathclyde led the ALPHA-X project, which resulted in a Nature paper and several other high impact publications.
Collaborator Contribution Participated in the ALPHA-X project, which resulted in a Nature paper and several other high impact publications.
Impact Participated in the ALPHA-X project, which resulted in a Nature paper and several other high impact publications.
Start Year 2007
 
Description Joint research with Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine 
Organisation Imperial College London
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution University of Strathclyde researchers worked on this project with researchers from Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine
Start Year 2007
 
Description Joint research with UNIVERSITY OF DUNDEE 
Organisation University of Dundee
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution University of Strathclyde researchers worked on this project with researchers from UNIVERSITY OF DUNDEE
Start Year 2007
 
Description Joint research with University of Glasgow 
Organisation University of Glasgow
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution University of Strathclyde researchers worked on this project with researchers from University of Glasgow
Collaborator Contribution Collaborated on radio isotope production. Collaborated on measurement of gamma rays. Collaborated on nuclear physics problems.
Impact Continuing collaboration in radio isotope production. Experiments continuing and paper in the pipeline. Collaboration on gamma ray production that resulted in a Nature Physics paper. Collaborated on developing very high energy electron therapy (VHEET). Several papers published.
Start Year 2012
 
Description Joint research with University of Lancaster 
Organisation Lancaster University
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution University of Strathclyde researchers worked on this project with researchers from University of Lancaster
Start Year 2007
 
Description Joint research with University of St Andrews 
Organisation University of St Andrews
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution University of Strathclyde researchers worked on this project with researchers from University of St Andrews
Start Year 2007
 
Description Project partnership with Chinese Academy of Sciences 
Organisation Chinese Academy of Sciences
Country China 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Chinese Academy of Sciences worked with the research team and assisted/contributed to the project outcomes
Start Year 2007
 
Description Project partnership with Indiana University School of Medicine 
Organisation Indiana University
Department School of Medicine
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Indiana University School of Medicine worked with the research team and assisted/contributed to the project outcomes
Collaborator Contribution Collaborated in VHEET research using LWFAs, which resulted in publications. Still ongoing.
Impact Collaborated in VHEET research using LWFAs, which resulted in publications. Still ongoing.
Start Year 2012
 
Description Project partnership with Instituto Superior Tecnico 
Organisation University of Lisbon
Department Instituto Superior Tecnico
Country Portugal 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Instituto Superior Tecnico worked with the research team and assisted/contributed to the project outcomes
Start Year 2007
 
Description Project partnership with Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich 
Organisation Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU Munich)
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich worked with the research team and assisted/contributed to the project outcomes
Collaborator Contribution The LMU group analysed data from an experiments at RAL and wrote the paper, with input from our group. We developed the methods used for the experiment.
Impact Paper on electron bunch duration published.
Start Year 2012
 
Description Project partnership with University of Austin, USA 
Organisation University of Texas at Austin
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution University of Austin, USA worked with the research team and assisted/contributed to the project outcomes
Start Year 2007
 
Description Project partnership with University of Paris South 11, France 
Organisation University Paris Sud
Country France 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution University of Paris South 11, France worked with the research team and assisted/contributed to the project outcomes
Start Year 2007
 
Description 35th Annual Conference of the IOP Plasma Physics Group 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Participant : Participation in conference.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2008
 
Description 35th Annual Conference of the IOP Plasma Physics Group 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Participant : Participation in conference.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2008
 
Description ALPHA-X workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Participant : Participation in workshop, seminar, course : Talk given on the experimental advances on chirped pulse Raman amplification.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description ALPHA-X workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Participant : Participation in workshop, seminar, course : Talk given on the experimental advances on chirped pulse Raman amplification.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description Christmas Meeting of the High Power Laser Science Community 2007 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Speaker : Participation in conference.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2007
 
Description Christmas Meeting of the High Power Laser Science Community 2007 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Speaker : Participation in conference.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2007
 
Description Christmas Meeting of the High Power Laser Science Community 2010 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Speaker : Participation in conference.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010
 
Description Christmas Meeting of the High Power Laser Science Community 2010 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Speaker : Participation in conference.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010
 
Description Conference on Lasers and Optoelectronics CLEO/IQEC 09 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited speaker : Participation in conference.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009
 
Description Conference on Lasers and Optoelectronics CLEO/IQEC 09 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited speaker : Participation in conference.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009
 
Description Conference on Lasers and Optoelectronics CLEO/IQEC10 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Speaker : Participation in conference.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010
 
Description Conference on Lasers and Optoelectronics CLEO/IQEC10 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Speaker : Participation in conference.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010
 
Description EPS Conference on Plasma Physics 2010 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited speaker : Participation in conference.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010
 
Description EPS Conference on Plasma Physics 2010 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited speaker : Participation in conference.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010
 
Description IEEE International Conference on Plasma Science ICOPS12 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Speaker : Participation in conference
.

IEEE International Conference on Plasma Science ICOPS12, Edinburgh
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description IOP Particle Accelerators and Beams Conference 2009 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Participant : Participation in conference.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009
 
Description IZEST 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Speaker : Participation in conference : IZEST conference
.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description Laser and Plasma Accelerators Workshop LPAW09 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited speaker : Participation in conference.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009
 
Description Laser and Plasma Accelerators Workshop LPAW09 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited speaker : Participation in conference.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009
 
Description Laser and Plasma Accelerators Workshop LPAW11 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Speaker : Participation in conference.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description Laser and Plasma Accelerators Workshop LPAW11 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Speaker : Participation in conference.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description Particle Accelerator Conference PAC09 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Speaker : Participation in conference.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009
 
Description Particle Accelerator Conference PAC09 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Speaker : Participation in conference.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009
 
Description SPIE Conference on Optics and Optoelectronics 2011 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited speaker : Participation in conference.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description SPIE Conference on Optics and Optoelectronics 2011 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited speaker : Participation in conference.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description SPIE Optics and Optoelectronics Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited speaker : Participation in conference.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009
 
Description SPIE Optics and Optoelectronics Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited speaker : Participation in conference.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009