The dynamics of ionization-induced electron injection in high density (∼1.2 × 1019 cm−3) regime of laser wakefield acceleration is investigated by analyzing the betatron X-ray emission. In such high density operation, the laser normalized vector potential exceeds the injection-thresholds of both ionization-injection and self-injection due to self-focusing. In this regime, direct experimental evidence of early on-set of ionization-induced injection into the plasma wave is given by mapping the X-ray emission zone inside the plasma. Particle-In-Cell simulations show that this early on-set of ionization-induced injection, due to its lower trapping threshold, suppresses the trapping of self-injected electrons. A comparative study of the electron and X-ray properties is performed for both self-injection and ionization-induced injection. An increase of X-ray fluence by at least a factor of two is observed in the case of ionization-induced injection due to increased trapped charge compared to self-injection mechanism.

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