Laser driven Wake-Field Acceleration (LWFA) has proven its capability of accelerating electron bunches (e-bunches) to up to 4 GeV energy in a single stage while reaching gradients up to hundreds of GV/m. Because of the short period of the accelerating field (typically ranging from 100 fs to 1 ps duration) and the requirement of extremely small beam size (typically smaller than 1
m) to match the channel, e-bunches can reach extremely high densities. They can be either extracted directly from the plasma or externally injected. The study of the external injection is interesting for two main reasons. On the one hand this method allows better control of the quality of the input beam and on the other hand it is in general necessary when a staged approach of the accelerator is considered. The interest in producing, characterizing and transporting high brightness ultra-short e-bunches has grown together with the interest in LWFA and other novel high-gradient acceleration techniques. In this paper we will review the principal techniques for producing and shaping ultra-short electron bunches with the example of the SINBAD-ARES (Accelerator Research Experiment at SINBAD) linac at the Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY). Our goal is to show how the design of the SINBAD-ARES linac satisfies the requirements for generating high brightness LWFA probes. In the last part of the paper we shall also comment on the technical challenges for electron control and characterization.
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