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Phys Rev Lett. 2001 Jun 4;86(23):5274-7.

Ponderomotive laser acceleration and focusing in vacuum for generation of attosecond electron bunches.

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Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94309, USA.


A novel approach for the generation of ultrabright attosecond electron bunches is proposed, based on acceleration in vacuum, by a short laser pulse. The laser-pulse profile is tailored such that the electrons are both focused and accelerated by the ponderomotive force of the light. Using time-averaged equations of motion, analytical criteria for optimal regime of acceleration are found. It is shown that for realistic laser parameters, a beam with up to 10(6) particles and normalized transverse and longitudinal emittances <10(-8) m can be produced.

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