Laser-plasma acceleration of electrons and secondary (compton) radiation sources
The impressive progress of high power laser technology initiated by the introduction of the Chirped Pulse Amplification (CPA) concept is now leading to the realization of new large laser infrastructures, namely ELI and HiPER which, by the end of this decade, will start paving the way to new physical domains, approaching the regime of electron-positron pair creation and the possibility to reach the critical field of quantum electrodynamics. At the same time, the control of ultra-high gradient plasma acceleration is being pursued and advanced schemes are being developed for the control of accelerated electron properties. In this framework, we are developing laser plasma acceleration of electrons as a primary source for X-ray and gamma-ray generation using the Thomson or inverse/Compton scattering mechanism. We use the ILIL10 TW ultraintense laser system to activate the self injection regime of laser-plasma acceleration in a gas-jet target. Accelerated electrons at energies ranging from a few MeV up to 100 MeV are focused on a counterpropagating laser pulse for the scattering to generate X-rays.