The use of electrical discharge to ionize a gas in a geometrical high aspect ratio insulating capillary shows promise as a plasma source for a variety of applications. Originally developed as a high density plasma source for fusion research , more recently capillary plasmas have been used for myriad other applications including X-ray laser development, EUV lithography, and the generation of plasma waveguides for optical guidance of high-intensity laser pulses. The principal application for the work at USC, however, is plasma-based wakefield accelerators (PWFA), demonstrating potential as a novel method for charged particle acceleration that could boost incoming beam energy over short distances. Interest in PWFA has grown since it successfully energy-doubled 42 GeV electrons at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, with the AWAKE experiment at CERN providing a potential full-scale test bed for future PWFA experiments and practical PWFA accelerator facilities
This work is in collaboration with Dr. Patric Muggli of the Future Accelerators Group at the Max Planck Institute for Physics in Munich, Germany.