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Journal Articles Physical Review X Year : 2022

Waveform Control of Relativistic Electron Dynamics in Laser-Plasma Acceleration

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Julius Huijts
Lucas Rovige
Igor Andriyash
Marie Ouillé
Jaismeen Kaur
Zhao Cheng
Jérôme Faure

Abstract

The interaction of ultraintense laser pulses with an underdense plasma is used in laser-plasma acceleration to create compact sources of ultrashort pulses of relativistic electrons and x rays. The accelerating structure is a plasma wave, or wakefield, that is excited by the laser ponderomotive force, a force that is usually assumed to depend solely on the laser envelope and not on its exact waveform. Here, we use near-single-cycle laser pulses with a controlled carrier-envelope phase to show that the actual waveform of the laser field has a clear impact on the plasma response. The beam pointing of our relativistic electron beam oscillates in phase with the carrier-envelope phase of the laser, at an amplitude of 15 mrad, or 30% of the beam divergence. Numerical simulations explain this observation through asymmetries in the injection and acceleration of the electron beam, which are locked to the carrier-envelope phase. These results imply that we achieve waveform control of relativistic electron dynamics. Our results pave the way to high-precision, subcycle control of electron injection in plasma accelerators, enabling the production of attosecond relativistic electron bunches and x rays.
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Dates and versions

hal-03629514 , version 1 (04-04-2022)

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Julius Huijts, Lucas Rovige, Igor Andriyash, Aline Vernier, Marie Ouillé, et al.. Waveform Control of Relativistic Electron Dynamics in Laser-Plasma Acceleration. Physical Review X, 2022, 12 (1), pp.011036. ⟨10.1103/physrevx.12.011036⟩. ⟨hal-03629514⟩
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