Dielectric laser acceleration of relativistic beams

Lead Research Organisation: University of Liverpool
Department Name: Physics


The tremendous cost and enormous size of the most conventional particle accelerators present a challenge for scientists to shrink the size and make a cost-effective accelerator. In recent years there has been a growing interest in dielectric laser accelerators (DLA) with the rise of 'accelerator on a chip (ACHIP)' programs and investments by Gordon and Moore foundation. The DLA is a promising candidate for future endoscopy and cancer treatment due to its compactness and very narrow output beam.
The optimization of these structures, however, poses significant challenges in their detailed simulation and subsequent optimization, in particular when it comes to an increase of the efficiency of the acceleration gradient.
For this, it is necessary to carry out numerical studies into enhanced dielectric structures, materials and laser parameters that allow assessing the resulting energy losses from dispersion and changes in the induced field resulting from beam divergence. This requires a High Performance Computing (HPC) platform for the simulations themselves, as well as Big Data analysis techniques in order to extract the physics behind the different processes.
Real experimental parameters from the CLARA facility at Daresbury, UK and PSI, Switzerland are used in the simulation studies. This allows the creation of an optimized model of a DLA which can generate acceleration gradients up to several GeV/m with high-quality output beams for a range of applications. These studies will form the basis for planning experiments with PSI collaborators, where the relativistic electron beam shall also be exploited for radiation generation.
An full numerical model of an optimized DLA will be a significant breakthrough in this area and the basis for many future studies. The tools and techniques developed in Liverpool's Centre for Doctoral Training LIV.DAT are ideally suited for an overall optimization of these structures.


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