Purpose: To propose a promising alternative for conventional accelerators for high energy electron radiation therapy by generating quasi-mono-energetic electron beams. Methods: Electron beams with energy up to hundred MeV, 1.8% energy spread, 125 pC charges and a few mrad divergences have been achieved from a 3-mmlong clustered gas plasma, driven by laser pulse with peak power up to 100 TW. Optimization of experimental parameters, such as laser contrast and laser-plasma interaction timing leads to stable laser propagation and high-quality electron beams. Results: Clustered gas, in addition to the self-focusing effect, owns two important features: local solid electron density and efficient absorption of ultra-short laser pulses. Therefore, high ionization levels and high electron densities could generate high-charge energetic electron beams. Our experiment has verified that clusters in the gas jet influence the laser propagation and Wakefield evolution, producing stable laser guiding and good quality electron beams. Conclusion: The results demonstrated that the laser-driven clustered gas target provides a unique method for electron injection and has great potential in generating mono-energetic collimated electron beams with large beam charge. Stable and reproducible mono-energetic electron beams with sufficient electron intensities are required in medical applications, e.g., radiotherapy. Many engineering issues remain to be solved before clinical application, but laseraccelerated electron beams present a promising scheme for future radiation therapy.
Mengze Tao, Kai Huang, Dazhang Li, Yifei Li, Xin Guo, Yong Ma, Jiarui Zhao, Minghua Li, Jinguang Wang, Nasr Hafz, Jie Zhang and Liming Chen
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