Sep 15 – 21, 2019
Hotel Hermitage, La Biodola Bay, Isola d'Elba, Italy
Europe/Rome timezone

PWFA-FEL: An exploratory study towards an ultra-compact x-ray free-electron laser

Sep 17, 2019, 5:00 PM
SE (Hotel Hermitage)


Hotel Hermitage

talk WG4 - Application of compact and high-gradient accelerators WG4 - FEL


Fahim A. Habib (SUPA, Department of Physics, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK and Cockcroft Institute, Sci-Tech, Daresbury, UK.)


Plasma wakefield accelerators (PWFAs) are routinely accelerating electron beams to multi-GeV energies in cm-scale acceleration distances. This emerging technology is a promising approach towards ultra-compact X-ray free-electron lasers (XFELs). However, producing high-quality electron beams in plasma-based accelerators is still a challenging task. The R&D efforts within the community now concentrate on electron beam quality improvement. Novel avenues, such as the advanced plasma photocathode (aka “Trojan Horse”-injection), allow generating electron beams in PWFAs with 0.1%-level energy spreads, nm-level normalized emittance, and multi-kA peak currents. This results in unprecedented ultrahigh 6D-brightness electron beams. This presentation reports on the UK STFC funded R&D project PWFA-FEL. This project aims to develop PWFA-driven FEL concepts and technologies by combining the expertise of an international expert team in PWFA, Beam Transport and FEL from the University of Strathclyde, UCLA, SLAC FACET-II, and the Daresbury Laboratory CLARA. Further, we show simulation and experimental progress in generating these unprecedented beams and discuss new capabilities such as sub-femtosecond coherent x-ray pulses from ultra-compact XFELs. These bright X-ray flashes may allow, the observation and the study of electron dynamics within molecules on their natural timescale in university and industry-scale laboratories.

Primary author

Fahim A. Habib (SUPA, Department of Physics, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK and Cockcroft Institute, Sci-Tech, Daresbury, UK.)


Thomas Heinemann (Uni Strathclyde / DESY) Paul Scherkl (University of Strathclyde) Grace G. Manahan Lewis Boulton (University Of Strathclyde / DESY) Alastair Nutter (University of Strathclyde) Daniel Ullmann (University of Strathclyde) Andrew Beaton (University of Strathclyde) Dr Peter Williams (STFC Daresbury Lab.) Deepa Angal-Kalinin (STFC, Daresbury Laboratory) Jim Clarke (STFC) Prof. Tor O. Raubenheimer (Stanford University ) Dr Erik Hemsing (SLAC) David Bruhwiler John R. Cary Dr Mark Hogan (SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory) Dr Vitaly Yakimenko (SLAC) James Rosenzweig (UCLA) Dr Brian McNeil ( University of Strathclyd & Cockcroft Institute) Prof. Bernhard Hidding (Scottish Universities Physics Alliance, Department of Physics, University of Strathclyde; Cockcroft Institute, Sci-Tech Daresbury)

Presentation materials