We demonstrate a novel approach to the generation of femtosecond electron bunch trains via laser-driven wakefield acceleration. We use two independent high-intensity laser pulses, a drive, and an injector, each creating their own plasma wakes. The interaction of the laser pulses and their wakes results in a periodic injection of free electrons in the drive plasma wake via several mechanisms, including ponderomotive drift, wake-wake interference, and pre-acceleration of electrons directly by strong laser fields. Electron trains were generated with up to four quasi-monoenergetic bunches, each separated in time by a plasma period. The time profile of the generated trains is deduced from an analysis of beam loading and confirmed using 2D particle-in-cell simulations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Condensed Matter Physics