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Bloom, M. S.; Streeter, M. J. V.; Kneip, S.; Bendoyro, R. A.; Cheklov, O.; Cole, J. M.; Doepp, A.; Hooker, C. J.; Holloway, J.; Jiang, J.; Lopes, N. C.; Nakamura, H.; Norreys, P. A.; Rajeev, P. P.; Symes, D. R.; Schreiber, J.; Wood, J. C.; Wing, M.; Najmudin, Z.; Mangles, S. P. D. (2020): Bright x-ray radiation from plasma bubbles in an evolving laser wakefield accelerator. In: Physical Review Accelerators and Beams, Vol. 23, No. 6, 061301
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We show that the properties of the electron beam and bright x rays produced by a laser wakefield accelerator can be predicted if the distance over which the laser self-focuses and compresses prior to self-injection is taken into account. A model based on oscillations of the beam inside a plasma bubble shows that performance is optimized when the plasma length is matched to the laser depletion length. With a 200 TW laser pulse, this results in an x-ray beam with a median photon energy of 20 keV, > 6 x 10(8) photons above 1 keV per shot, and a peak brightness of 3 x 10(22) photons s(-1) mrad(-2) mm(-2) (0.1% BW)(-1).