Current Applied Physics, Vol.19, No.4, 464-469, 2019
Enhanced betatron radiation by a modulating laser pulse in laser wakefield acceleration
We propose a new idea to enhance and control the betatron radiation by using a modulating laser pulse in laser wakefield acceleration. In this scheme, a high-power laser pulse is used for self-trapping and acceleration of the plasma electrons and the accelerated electron beam is modulated by a separately-propagating laser pulse for large amplitude betatron oscillations and microbunching. In this way, the relatively low power modulating laser pulse can enhance the X-ray photon flux and energy significantly. We performed two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations to demonstrate the idea and the results show that a sub-TW laser pulse is enough for electron beam modulation and it can generate easily-controllable fs X-ray pulses with a wide range of photon energies from soft X-rays to hard X-rays.