Generation of mega-electron-volt electron beams by an ultrafast intense laser pulse

Xiaofang Wang, Ned Saleh, Mohan Krishnan, Haiwen Wang, Sterling Backus, Margaret Murnane, Henry Kapteyn, Donald Umstadter, Quandong Wang, Baifei Shen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Mega-electron-volt (MeV) electron emission from the interaction of an ultrafast (τ ∼ 29fs), intense (>1018 W/cm2) laser pulse with underdense plasmas has been studied. A beam of MeV electrons with a divergence angle as small as 1° is observed in the forward direction, which is correlated with relativistic filamentation of the laser pulse in plasmas. A novel net-energy-gain mechanism is proposed for electron acceleration resulting from the relativistic filamentation and beam breakup. These results suggest an approach for generating a beam of femtosecond, MeV electrons at a kilohertz repetition rate with a compact ultrafast intense laser system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)132-137
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the Optical Society of America B: Optical Physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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