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One-to-One Full-Scale Simulations of Laser-Wakefield Acceleration Using QuickPIC

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12 Author(s)
Jorge Vieira ; GoLP/Inst. de Plasmas e Fusao Nucl., Inst. Super. Tecnico, Lisbon ; Frederico Fiuza ; Ricardo A. Fonseca ; LuÍs O. Silva
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We use the quasi-static particle-in-cell (PIC) code QuickPIC to perform full-scale one-to-one laser-wakefield- acceleration (LWFA) numerical experiments, with parameters that closely follow current experimental conditions. The propagation of state-of-the-art laser pulses in both preformed and uniform plasma channels is examined. We show that the presence of the channel is important whenever the laser self-modulations do not dominate the propagation. We examine the acceleration of an externally injected electron beam in the wake generated by ~10-J laser pulses, showing that, by using 10-cm-scale plasma channels, it is possible to accelerate electrons to more than 4 GeV. A comparison between QuickPIC and 2-D OSIRIS is provided. Good qualitative agreement between the two codes is found, but the 2-D full PIC simulations fail to predict the correct laser and wakefield amplitudes.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science  (Volume:36 ,  Issue: 4 )