Date of this Version
Application of Accelerators in Research and Industry: 20th International Conference, 2009.
We report current progress on a project to develop an all-optically-driven x-ray photon source. A laser pulse with 40-50 TW of peak power is focused on a supersonic helium nozzle to drive a relativistic plasma wave. Electron beams with energies of 320 MeV (+/- 28 MeV) are accelerated by means of laser wakefield acceleration. Remarkably, the acceleration region is only 3 mm in length. This accelerator is currently being employed to demonstrate the generation of MeV- energy x-ray by means of all-optical Thomson scattering. By this mechanism, a lower power, laser pulse (from the same laser system) is focused onto the above laser-driven electron beam, 1-eV energy photons are Doppler-shifted in energy to > 1 MeV.