Petawatt-Laser-Driven Wakefield Acceleration Of Electrons To 2 Gev In 10(17)Cm(-3) Plasma
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Electron self-injection into a laser-plasma accelerator (LPA) driven by the Texas Petawatt (TPW) laser is reported at plasma densities 1.7 - 6.2 x 10(17) cm(-3). Energy and charge of the electron beam, ranging from 0.5 GeV to 2 GeV and tens to hundreds of pC, respectively, depended strongly on laser beam quality and plasma density. Angular beam divergence was consistently around 0.5 mrad (FWHM), while shot-to-shot pointing fluctuations were limited to +/- 1.4 mrad rms. Betatron x-rays with tens of keV photon energy are also clearly observed.