Experimental Demonstration of Terahertz-Driven Particle Acceleration

Lead Research Organisation: University of Manchester
Department Name: Physics and Astronomy


There is growing interest in the use of laser-generated terahertz (THz) radiation sources to reduce the scale of today's particle accelerators with the ultimate dream of producing compact laboratory-sized machines for applications ranging from versatile x-ray sources to medical treatment. This project seeks to take novel terahertz (THz)-driven acceleration to a new and internationally leading level. By combining ultrafast laser generated THz radiation source development with a new understanding of THz-electron beam interactions, we seek to develop an idealised interaction scheme and breakthrough the 100 MV/m accelerating gradient limit of conventional radio-frequency accelerating cavities. This will be achieved by developing laser-driven terahertz sources with multi-MV/m field strengths and exploring the interaction of the THz pulse with the electron beam and the subsequent beam dynamics of the accelerated beam.

The project will focus primarily on exploiting laser-driven terahertz sources to accelerate low energy 100 keV electron beams from a table-top electron gun into the MeV energy regime, but will also involve work on CLARA, a 50 MeV linear accelerator at STFC Daresbury National Laboratory.

The THz source development will explore the use of novel THz emitters for producing the required 100 MV/m fields, benefitting from a recent funded programme of THz source development at Manchester. This project will also involve the use of the Cockcroft ultrafast laser system (recently awarded to Lancaster, Manchester and Liverpool through a STFC capital grant).


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
ST/V506801/1 30/09/2020 29/09/2024
2488454 Studentship ST/V506801/1 31/08/2020 31/03/2024 Christopher Shaw