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Direct Laser Acceleration


AD SLACPortal > Accelerator Research Division > Advanced Accelerator Research > Direct Laser Acceleration

Research Activities

Phase Reset Acceleration in Micron-Scale Accelerators

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​​The phase reset concept uses a periodic dielectric structure matched to the drive laser wavelength to impart a phase modulation onto an incident plane wave, such that a properly timed speed-of-light particle traveling through the region of field modulation sees a continuous accelerating field. Prototype structures have been fabricated using optical lithography at Stanford University and tested at SLAC using a 60 MeV electron test beam. These demonstrations will constitute the first observation of acceleration in an enclosed laser-driven micro-accelerator.

 HFSS Animation of the dual-grating structure with a Gaussian laser beam incident from above.


Animated vector plot of electric field along the centerline of the dual-grating accelerator.

Phase Stability and Optical Characterization of Photonic Structures

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Photonic crystal accelerator structures are evaluated using techniques such as laser interferometry, scanning electron microscopy, and infrared fourier transform spectroscopy to characterize the supported modes and optimize them for use as high-gradient accelerators. Thermal phase stability has been measured in these structures to be good to within 5 degrees of optical phase per degree Celsius, and transverse magnetic modes have been excited and observed via free space coupling using a TM01* mode converter.

Hollow-Core Photonic Bandgap Fibers

Hollow-core photonic crystal fibers have been proposed as guided-wave accelerators capable of supporting electric field intensities in the GV/m range. We study both commercial and custom-made hollow-core fibers to identify and characterize electromagnetic modes capable of harnessing these intense fields for high-gradient particle acceleration.

SLAC SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Menlo Park, CA
Operated by Stanford University for the U.S. Dept. of Energy