Plasma Channels And Laser Pulse Tailoring For Gev Laser-Plasma Accelerators
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We have demonstrated distortion-free guiding of I TW pulses at near relativistic intensity (0.2 x 10(18) W/cm(2)) over 60 Rayleigh lengths at 20 Hz repetition rate in a preformed helium plasma channel. As steps toward efficient channeled Laser Wakefield Acceleration up to the dephasing limit, we have upgraded our laser system from I to 4 TW, adapted femtosecond interferometric diagnostics to probe plasma density fluctuations inside the channel, and developed detailed strategies for managing ionization distortions at the channel entrance and exit at the upgraded intensity. We also report simulations, and preliminary experiments, that explore a strategy for Raman-seeding laser pulses to coherently control both unchanneled and channeled LWFA in order to lower the laser energy threshold and increase the repetition rate of election pickup and acceleration.