X-100: FEL Gain

Principle Investigator:

Contact in absentia
Richard D'Arcy

Description and goals:
The use of Free Electron Lasers (FELs) as a tool for probing the structure of matter has been prevalent in science for the last few decades. Conventional accelerator facilities, typically used to provide stable and workable user facilities for research in the field, are costly to build and run due to the strict requirements on high electron beam brightness required to drive the FEL process.

The FLASH FEL facility at DESY, Hamburg uses a superconducting radio frequency linac and a series of bunch compressors to produce beams of such FEL quality. FLASHForward, a plasma wakefield extension to this facility, ultimately aims to use these FEL-quality beams to drive a plasma wakefield, generating in the process a witness bunch with higher energies (potentially unlocking a sub water window FEL wavelength range) and smaller transverse emittance (increasing the beam brightness) than that of FLASH.

With the inclusion of a series of undulator modules downstream of the plasma cell these high quality witness bunches would be used to test the efficacy of driving an FEL with plasma wakefield accelerated processes.