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Phys Rev Lett. 2009 Sep 25;103(13):135004. Epub 2009 Sep 25.

Electron self-injection and trapping into an evolving plasma bubble.

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The Department of Physics and Institute for Fusion Studies, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas 78712, USA.


The blowout (or bubble) regime of laser wakefield acceleration is promising for generating monochromatic high-energy electron beams out of low-density plasmas. It is shown analytically and by particle-in-cell simulations that self-injection of the background plasma electrons into the quasistatic plasma bubble can be caused by slow temporal expansion of the bubble. Sufficient criteria for the electron trapping and bubble's expansion rate are derived using a semianalytic nonstationary Hamiltonian theory. It is further shown that the combination of bubble's expansion and contraction results in monoenergetic electron beams.

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