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Supersonic gas jets generated via a conical nozzle are widely applied in the laser wakefield acceleration of electrons. The stability of the gas jet is critical to the electron injection and the reproducibility of the wakefield acceleration. Here we discussed the role of the stilling chamber in a modified converging–diverging nozzle to dissipate the turbulence and to stabilize the gas jets. By the fluid dynamics simulations and the Mach–Zehnder interferometer measurements, the instability originating from the nonlinear turbulence is studied and the mechanism to suppress the instability is proposed. Both the numerical and experimental results prove that the carefully designed nozzle with a stilling chamber is able to reduce the perturbation by more than 10% compared with a simple-conical nozzle.
We report on the design and characterization of the plasma mirror system installed on the J-KAREN-P laser at the Kansai Photon Science Institute, National Institutes for Quantum Science and Technology. The reflectivity of the single plasma mirror system exceeded 80%. In addition, the temporal contrast was improved by two orders of magnitude at 1 ps before the main pulse. Furthermore, the laser near-field spatial distribution after the plasma mirror was kept constant at plasma mirror fluence of less than 100 kJ/cm2. We also present the results of investigating the difference and the fluctuation in energy, pulse width and pointing stability with and without the plasma mirror system.
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