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Optimization of transformer ratio and beam loading in a plasma wakefield accelerator with a structure-exploiting algorithm


Su, Q; Larson, J.; Dalichaouch, T.; Li, F.; An, W.; Hildebrand, L.; Zhao, Y; Decyk, V.; Alves, P.; Wild, S.; Mori, W.


Plasma-based acceleration has emerged as a promising candidate as an accelerator technology for a future linear collider or a next-generation light source. We consider the plasma wakefield accelerator (PWFA) concept where a plasma wave wake is excited by a particle beam and a trailing beam surfs on the wake. For a linear collider, the energy transfer efficiency from the drive beam to the wake and from the wake to the trailing beam must be large, while the emittance and energy spread of the trailing bunch must be preserved. One way to simultaneously achieve this when accelerating electrons is to use longitudinally shaped bunches and nonlinear wakes. In the linear regime, there is an analytical formalism to obtain the optimal shapes. In the nonlinear regime, however, the optimal shape of the driver to maximize the energy transfer efficiency cannot be precisely obtained because currently no theory describes the wake structure and excitation process for all degrees of nonlinearity. In addition, the ion channel radius is not well defined at the front of the wake where the plasma electrons are not fully blown out by the drive beam. We present results using a novel optimization method to effectively determine a current profile for the drive and trailing beam in PWFA that provides low energy spread, low emittance, and high acceleration efficiency. We parameterize the longitudinal beam current profile as a piecewise-linear function and define optimization objectives. For the trailing beam, the algorithm converges quickly to a nearly inverse trapezoidal trailing beam current profile similar to that predicted by the ultrarelativistic limit of the nonlinear wakefield theory. For the drive beam, the beam profile found by the optimization in the nonlinear regime that maximizes the transformer ratio also resembles that predicted by linear theory. The current profiles found from the optimization method provide higher transformer ratios compared with the linear ramp predicted by the relativistic limit of the nonlinear theory.