Postgrad LIVE! Study Fairs

Birmingham | Edinburgh | Liverpool | Sheffield | Southampton | Bristol

Wellcome Trust Featured PhD Programmes
University of Glasgow Featured PhD Programmes
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council Featured PhD Programmes
King’s College London Featured PhD Programmes
University of Manchester Featured PhD Programmes

Beam-driven plasma wakefield acceleration at Strathclyde and international collaborators

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

We are on the quest towards 5th generation light sources and ultracompact electron accelerators -- the time-resolved microscopes of the 21st century. Motivated and excellent PhD candidates, ideally with a background in laser and/or beam driven plasma wakefield acceleration are required to help lay the foundations for this. Our approach is to combine the best of beam-driven plasma wakefield acceleration (PWFA) as well as laser wakefield acceleration (LWFA) to generate the highest quality electron bunches ever produced. These will then be essential ingredients for highest performance future light sources such as FELs. International flagship experiments (at conventional accelerators such as E-210 "Trojan Horse" at FACET/SLAC, at FLASHForward, and at CLARA/Daresbury) will be complemented by hybrid LWFA2PWFA experiments at laser-plasma-accelerators worldwide. In addition, first-class high performance computers and state-of-the-art simulation codes (particle-in-cell etc.) will be used to model the interaction, and to help understand it theoretically.

The electron beam driver will set up the plasma wave, and a low energy laser pulse will ionize an additional plasma component locally within this plasma wave. This leads to ultracold bunches, which are a prerequisite for the ultrahigh bunch quality. These bunches would not even have a quality in terms of emittance which is far better when compared to other plasma-based approaches, but also would have better beam quality in many regards than the best bunches from conventional accelerators such as the LCLS in terms of (5D) brightness, for example.

The E210 "Trojan Horse" collaboration Strathclyde-SLAC-UCLA-Hamburg et al. was concluded with breakthrough results in 2016 in the final run of FACET’s lifetime, tight in time before shutting down to make way for LCLS-II. Highly encouraged by these results, we are now preparing for future and even better incarnations of the Trojan Horse in the NeXource project, which will allow to decrease the energy spread of produced bunches and hence allows to generate beams with ultrahigh 6D brightness. This paves the way to realize even hard x-ray free-electron lasers, gamma-ray sources and other applications in attosecond to femtosecond photonics as well as for future high energy colliders and high energy physics.

The PhD candidate would work in a truly international and multi-disciplinary collaboration, being based at the Scottish Centre for the Application of Plasma-based Accelerators (SCAPA) in Glasgow. SCAPA is the flagship project of SUPA, the biggest physics alliance in the UK. It is located in the heart of Glasgow as part of the University of Strathclyde and the Technology Innovation Centre TIC. The student would be part of a new Strathclyde Centre for Doctoral Training (SCDT) P-PALS (Plasma-based Particle and Light Sources), the Cockcroft Institute, a UK’s university-based centre for accelerator development, the UK’s National Physical Laboratory (NPL) and the European H2020 EuRPAXIA project.

If you are interested in a PhD in this environment and think you are fit, please contact Prof. Bernhard Hidding via email or phone, ideally prior to your formal application to discuss options.

Funding Notes

The PhD student will be a student of University of Strathclyde as part of the newly created Strathclyde Centre for Doctoral Training P-PALS View Website , and will have plenty opportunities for shorter and longer campaigns and placements at our European and international partners such as SLAC in Stanford, USA, UCLA, Los Angeles, DESY, Germany in order to carry through R&D within this potentially transformative project and approach.


Single-stage plasma-based correlated energy spread compensation for ultrahigh 6D brightness electron beams, G.G. Manahan .. B. Hidding, Nature Communications 8, 15705 (2017)

IPAC 2017 invited oral (slides): Trojan Horse

Multi-chromatic narrow-energy-spread electron bunches from laser wakefield acceleration with dual color lasers, M. Zeng et al., Phys. Rev. Letters 114, 084801 (2015)

Ultrahigh brightness bunches from hybrid plasma accelerators as drivers of 5th generation light sources, B. Hidding et al., J. Phys. B: At. Mol. Opt. Phys. 47 (2014) 234010 (invited)

Ultracold Electron Bunch Generation via Plasma Photocathode Emission and Acceleration in a Beam-driven Plasma Blowout, B. Hidding, G. Pretzler, J.B. Rosenzweig, T. Königstein, D. Schiller, D.L. Bruhwiler, Physical Review Letters 108, 035001, 2012

Beyond injection: Trojan horse underdense photocathode plasma wakefield acceleration, B. Hidding, J. B. Rosenzweig, Y. Xi, B. O'Shea, G. Andonian, D. Schiller, S. Barber, O. Williams, G. Pretzler, T. Königstein, F. Kleeschulte, M. J. Hogan, M. Litos, S. Corde, W. W. White, P. Muggli, D. L. Bruhwiler and K. Lotov, AIP Conf. Proc. 1507, 570 (2012)

How good is research at University of Strathclyde in Physics?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 27.00

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

Email Now

Insert previous message below for editing? 
You haven’t included a message. Providing a specific message means universities will take your enquiry more seriously and helps them provide the information you need.
Why not add a message here
* required field
Send a copy to me for my own records.

Your enquiry has been emailed successfully

FindAPhD. Copyright 2005-2018
All rights reserved.