Electron bunch lengthening due to space-charge forces in state-of-the-art rf photoinjectors limits the minimum bunch length attainable to several hundreds of femtoseconds. Although this can be alleviated by increasing the transverse dimension of the electron bunch, a larger initial radius causes path-length differences in both the rf cavity and in downstream focusing elements. In this paper we show that a curved cathode virtually eliminates these undesired effects. Detailed numerical simulations confirm that significantly shorter bunches are produced by an rf photogun with a curved cathode compared to a flat cathode device. The proposed novel method will be used to provide 100 fs duration electron bunches for injection into a laser-driven plasma wakefield accelerator.
|Physical Review Special Topics - Accelerators and Beams
|Published - 2006