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The theoretical limits on efficiency and energy spread of the laser-wakefield accelerator are investigated using a one-dimensional model. Modifications, both of the wakefield due to the electron bunch, and of the laser pulse shape due to the varying permittivity of the plasma, are described self-consistently. It is found that a short laser pulse gives a higher efficiency than a long laser pulse with the same initial energy. Energy spread can be minimized by optimizing bunch length and bunchdoi:10.1103/physrevlett.94.085004 pmid:15783901 fatcat:zateewoqbze4hdcqfitbc44wwa