Transport of electrons from a laser wakefield accelerator to produce short-wavelength radiation in undulators

  • Kay Dewhurst

Student thesis: Phd


This study investigates how electron bunches from currently-available laser wakefield accelerators can be transported to undulators to produce useful electromagnetic radiation. The results are considered in relation to the design of future compact light sources. Simulations were conducted of the electron transport around a storage ring and along two linear beamlines. Both matrix-based and particle-tracking programs were utilised in the beamline design process and for the electron transport simulations. The tracking results show that laser wakefield accelerated electrons can circulate in a storage ring. The electron bunches can also be matched to an undulator using a linear beamline. A novel linear beamline design can adjust the chirp of the electron bunches by varying the longitudinal dispersion. The GeV-scale central energy of currently-available laser wakefield accelerated electron bunches causes them to produce undulator radiation in the ultraviolet to x-ray spectral range. In the case of a short linear beamline with a long undulator, some free-electron laser gain is demonstrated for ultraviolet wavelengths. Laser wakefield accelerators are found to be suitable injectors for storage rings and particularly for small-circumference future storage ring designs. Currently-available laser wakefield accelerators are capable of producing radiation with some free-electron laser gain in a short linear beamline with an undulator. A novel linear beamline design which can control the bunch chirp may enhance the ability of laser wakefield accelerated electrons to produce free-electron laser radiation in an undulator. In conclusion, laser wakefield accelerators should be considered as a viable option for an electron source in the design of future compact light sources.
Date of Award1 Aug 2021
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorRobert Appleby (Supervisor) & Roger Jones (Supervisor)


  • laser
  • electron
  • beamline
  • light source
  • beam dynamics
  • chirp
  • synchrotron radiation
  • electron transport
  • radiation
  • storage ring
  • FEL
  • free-electron laser
  • particle accelerator
  • particle acceleration
  • plasma acceleration
  • laser plasma
  • LWFA
  • laser wakefield
  • undulator

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