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Generating Optical Orbital Angular Momentum in a High-Gain Free-Electron Laserat the First Harmonic
E. Hemsing, A. Marinelli, and J.B. Rosenzweig
Particle Beam Physics Laboratory, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California 90095, USA
(Received 6 December 2010; published 22 April 2011)A scheme to generate intense coherent light that carries orbital angular momentum (OAM) at thefundamental wavelength of an x-ray free-electron laser (FEL) is described. The OAM light is emitted asthe dominant mode of the system until saturation provided that the helical microbunching imposed on theelectron beam is larger than the shot-noise bunching that leads to self-amplified emission. Operating at thefundamental, this scheme is more efficient than alternate schemes that rely on harmonic emission, and canbe applied to x-ray FELs without using external optical mode conversion elements.
DOI:10.1103/PhysRevLett.106.164803PACS numbers: 41.60.Cr, 41.50.+h, 42.50.Tx, 42.65.Ky
It is well known that modes of light can carry effectiveorbital angular momentum (OAM) due to an azimuthalcomponent of the linear photon momentum that is man-ifested as a helical phase dependence [1]. OAM light hasbecome both a subject of intense research as well as auseful tool in research [25]. In addition to applications in subdiffraction limit microscopy [6], imaging [7] and opti- cal pumpschemes [8],OAMlightcanalsobeused toprobematter in new ways by imparting a torque from the con-stituent photons. These critical new aspects of coherentlight pulses may be exploited at short wavelength in fron-tier hard x-ray free-electron lasers (FELs) that have theability to examine A˚length and femtosecond time scales[9]. X rays with OAM have been proposed for research inscattering and spectroscopy [10], chirality in biologicalmaterials [11], and quadrupolar transitions in materialsdue to strong dichroic properties [12].Traditionally, OAM light has been generated by insert-ing optical elements into the light path. Some of thesetechniques have been used to create optical vortices atx-ray wavelengths [13], but at the high peak intensities(
10
18
W
=
cm
2
) associated with modern hard x-ray FELs,such direct optical manipulations may not be practical oravailable. OAM light generation in an FEL has been ex-plored previously in the context of higher-harmonic emis-sion from a helical undulator [14], and been observedexperimentally in nonlinear harmonic generation (NHG)setups where the
e
beam emits frequency harmonics in anundulator due to strong nonlinear microbunching [15].However, because radiation at the fundamental frequencydominates, such harmonic light emission methods relyeither on external spectral filters or on other techniquesto suppress the fundamental interaction [16] in order toisolate the OAM light. As an alternative approach, in thisLetter we investigate an efficient scheme that generatesintense OAM light in an FEL operating at the fundamentalfrequency. The technique may be designated as high-gainhigh-mode generation (HGHMG), wherein the sourceelectron beam (
e
-beam) distribution is prearranged sothat it radiates transverse higher-order optical modes of the FEL. As a prebunched beam will emit coherent lightwith a phase structure determined by the microbunchingdistribution, a helically microbunched beam will emit lightwith a helical phase and a corresponding value of OAM.Because the light is emitted directly from the
e
beam, thiseliminatestheneedforexternalmodeconversionelements.It also provides a technique by which OAM can be gen-erated with a high degree of spatial coherence, high powerand at an extremely wide range of wavelengths, by virtueof the broad flexibility of FEL devices. This may be of general interest for fundamental research on OAM light,higher-order
e
-beam-radiation interactions, or of practicalinterest for FEL users who require higher-order opticalmodes.OAM light generation in an FEL using a helicallymodulated
e
beam was initially suggested in [17], andthe method to produce the highly correlated helical elec-tron beam density distribution was described in [18] forlow energies. Here we examine a practical and promisingvariant scheme optimized for x-ray and VUV wavelengths,which is where the most compelling modern applicationsof FELs are found. A layout is shown in Fig.1and issummarized as follows. An initially unmodulated relativ-istic
e
beam is helically modulated in energy in a helicalundulator (modulator), seeded by a laser (seed laser) tunedto a harmonic
h
of the resonant interaction. The
e
beam is
helicalundulator
e-beam
undulator
OAM lightChicaneoptical dumpharmonicinteractionseed laser+ModulatorRadiator
FIG. 1 (color online). Arrangement for generating OAM lightin an FEL.
PRL
106,
164803 (2011)PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS
week ending22 APRIL 2011
0031-9007
=
11
=
106(16)
=
164803(4) 164803-1
Ó
2011 American Physical Society
 
then sent into a longitudinally dispersive section whichconverts the energy modulation into a helical densitymodulation, and is finally sent into an undulator (radiator)where the helically microbunched
e
beam radiates coher-ent OAM light. With a transversely Gaussian input seedlaser profile, the index of the radiated OAM mode is
l
¼Ç
n
ð
h
À
1
Þ
where
n
is the frequency harmonic of theemission. At
n
¼
1
, the radiator output has the samefrequency as the modulating Gaussian seed laser, but ac-quires an OAM value of 
l
¼Çð
h
À
1
Þ
. Further, for
n
!
2
,NHG schemes used in tandem with the HGHMG schemecan produce frequency harmonic emission in the radiatorwith correspondingly larger values of OAM.Consider the transverse electric field of the modulator’sseed laser (Fig.1) which is assumed to have a pulse lengthlong compared to the
e
-beam bunch length. It has the form
E
ð
x
 ;t
Þ¼
Re
½
~
E
ð
x
Þ
^
e
?
e
ik
ð
z
À
ct
Þ
Š
, where
^
e
?
is a unit vectorspecifying the direction of polarization,
k
¼
2
=
is theradiation wave number and
~
E
ð
x
Þ
is the slowly growingcomplex field amplitude which here is taken to be a singlefree-space mode. The time-averaged electromagneticpower is
P
¼ð
2
0
c
Þ
À
1
R
j
~
E
ð
x
Þj
2
d
2
x
. Harmonic motionis generated when the electron interacts with the gradientsin the field. The portion of the field contributing to theharmonic interaction in the modulator is found by Taylorexpansion of the field experienced by an electron about itscentroid position. In a helical modulator with field polar-ization
^
e
w
¼ð
^
e
 x
Æ
i
^
e
y
Þ
=
 ffiffiffi 
2
, corresponding to right (
þ
)or left (
À
) circular polarization along
z
, the lowest-orderharmonic field terms experienced at the electron positionare given by [18],
~
E
ð
h
Þ
ð
x
Þ¼
1
ð
h
À
1
Þ
!
Æ
i
"
2
k
w
e
Ç
i
ð
@
r
Ç
ir@
Þ
h
À
1
~
E
ð
x
Þ
 ;
(1)where
h
is the harmonic number. The wiggling amplitudeis assumed small compared to the transverse
e
-beam size.The change in energy of an electron in the beam as itinteracts with the fields of the modulator and laser nearthe harmonic resonance is given by
ddz
¼
e
"
 ffiffiffi 
2
2
mc
2
Re
½
ig
?
~
E
ð
h
Þ
ð
x
Þ
e
i
ð
h
Þ
0
Š
(2)where
¼ð
À
0
Þ
=
0
(
1
is the relative energy devia-tion of the electron from the resonant energy
0
¼
 ffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi 
ð
1
þ
"
2
Þ
k=
2
hk
w
,
2
z
¼
2
=
ð
1
þ
"
2
Þ¼ð
1
À
2
z
Þ
À
1
isthe longitudinal relativistic factor,
"
¼
eB=mck
w
is therms undulator parameter and
k
w
¼
2
=
w
(
k
is thewave number of the modulator magnetic field.Polarization alignment between the light and the directionof 
e
-beam motion through the modulator is given by
g
?
¼
1
if the input field is properly circularly polarized,or
g
?
¼
1
=
 ffiffiffi 
2
if it is linearly polarized. The harmonicponderomotive phase is
ð
h
Þ
0
¼
kz
þ
hk
w
z
À
ckt
which,in combination with the phase terms in (1) shows that theresonant (ponderomotive) field component in the modula-tor section has an azimuthal dependence of the form
exp
½Ç
i
ð
h
À
1
Þ
Š
. Thus, the electrons in the resonantbucket experience an energy modulation that depends ontheir azimuthal position at harmonics
h>
1
.In general,
~
E
ð
x
Þ
is a free-space laser field with a spotsize and phase that can vary along the modulator.The Rayleigh lengths associated with the short wave-lengths of interest, however, may be considered to bemuch longer than the modulator length
L
m
, so for simplic-ity the field is approximated as a simple Gaussian
~
E
ð
x
Þ¼
2
 ffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi 
0
cP=w
20
exp
ðÀ
r
2
=w
20
Þ
. We concentrate on thesecond harmonic of the modulator (
h
¼
2
), where theponderomotive field amplitude in Eq. (1) is,
~
E
ð
2
Þ
ð
r;
Þ¼Ç
2
i
"
Krk
w
w
30
 ffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi 
P
0
c 
e
Ç
i
À
r
2
=w
20
 ;
(3)and has an azimuthal phase dependence
Çð
h
À
1
Þ
¼Ç
. Linearizing Eq. (2) to first order for small modula-tions, the relative electron energy at the modulator exit is
¼
0
Æ
a
ð
r
Þ
cos
ð
k
b
s
0
Ç
Þ
 ;
(4)where
0
is the initial relative energy,
s
0
¼
z
À
z
ct
isthe initial co-moving beam coordinate,
k
b
¼
k=
z
is themicrobunching wave number, and
a
ð
r
Þ¼
g
?
e
"
2
L
m
r
3
mc
2
k
w
w
30
 ffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi 
2
P
0
c 
e
À
r
2
=w
20
:
(5)The energy modulation in the beam has the shape of asingle twist ‘‘spiral-staircase’via the phase dependence on
, with the electrons near the axis unmodulated (Fig.2).Unlike the single-stage scheme in [18], the high
e
-beamenergies associated with x-ray FELs require use of alongitudinally dispersive section (e.g. a chicane) to convertthe helical energy modulation into a helical densitymodulation for OAM emission in the radiator. The simpledispersive section is characterized by the transport matrix
2 0 22 0 2
0
l
FIG. 2 (color online). Initially unmodulated
e
beam (blue)becomes helically modulated in energy during the harmonicinteraction (red), and is helically density bunched (tan) aftertransit through the dispersive section.
PRL
106,
164803 (2011)PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS
week ending22 APRIL 2011
164803-2
 
element
R
56
¼
@s
0
=@
which maps the longitudinal beamcoordinate
s
0
at the entrance into
s
, the beam coordinate atthe exit, via
s
¼
s
0
þ
R
56
. The helical microbunchingfactor of the distribution
after the dispersive section is
b
l
ð
k
0
Þ¼
ð
r;;;s
Þ
e
À
ik
0
s
À
il
rdrdd
 ;
(6)which quantifies the density modulation into the discretehelical mode
l
at the wave number
k
0
. The brackets repre-sent averaging over
s
, defined as
h
...
i¼
lim
2
L
1
12
L
Â
R
L
À
L
ð
...
Þ
ds
. The final variables transform into the initialvariables via
fdsd
¼
 f 
0
ds
0
d
0
, where
0
ð
r;
0
Þ
is anunmodulated axisymmetric initial distribution functionthat satisfies
R
 f 
0
rdrd
0
d
¼
1
. For a beam much longerthan the microbunching wavelength the bunching factor atthe exit of the chicane is peaked about
k
0
¼
nk
b
where
n
!
1
is the harmonic number associated with the micro-bunching structure. In terms of initial variables (6) is,
j
b
l
ð
k
b
Þj¼
2

n;
Ç
l
0
e
À
ink
b
R
56
0
n
½
nk
b
R
56
a
Š
rdrd
0
:
(7)The Kronecker delta factor
n;
Ç
l
shows how the excitedhelical mode index,
l
, relates to the harmonic number,
n
forthe present case of 
h
¼
2
. At the fundamental microbunch-ing frequency,
k
0
¼
k
b
, the only azimuthal mode that isnonzero is
l
¼À
1
ð
1
Þ
for the right- (left-) circularly polar-ized modulator.Consider an initially uncorrelated Gaussian beam distri-bution
0
¼ð
2

2
 x
 ffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi 
2

2
Þ
À
1
exp
ðÀ
r
2
=
2
2
 x
À
20
=
2
2
Þ
where
is the relative rms energy spread and
 x
is thetransverse rms beam size. The bunching amplitude, whichcarries a Gaussian suppression factor due to the energyspread, is then
j
b
l
j¼
n;
Ç
l
e
Àð
nk
b
R
56
Þ
2
=
2
j
À
n
j
 ;
(8)where
À
n
¼
À
2
 x
R
exp
ðÀ
r
2
=
2
2
 x
Þ
n
ð
2
nA
r
 x
e
À
r
2
=w
20
Þ
rdr
and
 A
¼
2
g
?
e
"
2
R
56
L
m
 x
0
mc
2
ð
1
þ
"
2
Þ
w
30
 ffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi 
2
P
0
c 
:
(9)Two limits yield useful simplifications for the contributionof transverse parameters in
À
n
; with
A
(
1
the radialintegral gives
À
n
¼
ð
 ffiffi 
2
nA
Þ
n
ð
n=
2
Þ
!
n
!
ð
1
þ
2
n
2
 x
=w
20
Þ
Àð
n
þ
2
Þ
=
2
,and maximal density bunching is obtained with
R
56
¼ð
ffiffiffi 
n
k
b
Þ
À
1
. Alternatively, in the large laser spotlimit of 
w
0
)
2
 x
, the radial integral gives
À
n
¼
ð
 ffiffi 
2
nA
Þ
n
ð
n=
2
Þ
!
n
!1
1
ð
n
2
þ
1
 ;n
þ
1
 ;
À
2
n
2
 A
2
Þ
where
1
1
is theconfluent hypergeometric function. Figure3shows how
À
1
varies with the parameter
A
in general.Imprinted with the helical density distribution at thechicane exit, the
e
beam then enters the radiating undulator(with any polarization) with period
w;r
tuned to emit lightat the fundamental wavelength of the microbunchingperiod:
b
¼
2
=k
b
¼
w;r
2
20
ð
1
þ
"
2
r
Þ
, where
"
r
is the rmsundulator parameter of the radiator. For
n
¼
1
, the OAMemission is at the same wavelength as that of the seed laserinthe modulator section, so the entire setup inFig.1acts asa ‘‘mode converter’’ which transforms the initially trans-versely Gaussian laser pulse into an OAM mode by virtueof the natural manipulation of the
e
-beam microbunchingdistribution. Since other modes can by amplified sponta-neously due to shot noise in the beam, and because modecompetition usually favors the fundamental, the helicalbunching factor must be greater than the effective shot-noise bunching factor in the radiator,
b
SN
 ffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi  ffiffiffiffiffiffiffi 
2
 
ec=
9
0
b
where
is the FEL parameter and
0
isthe beam current, to allow for the OAM mode to dominatefrom the outset. It is also important that the betatron phaseadvance is minimized through transport in order to pre-serve the correlated helical structure in the
e
beam.Figure4shows the power as a function of the azimuthalmode number in the radiation field calculated withtime-independent numerical simulations from
GENESIS
[19] for a Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS)-type
e
beam [9] at
b
¼
1
:
5#A
. In this
n
¼
1
,
h
¼
2
scenario,virtuallyallof thepoweris emitted intothe dominant
l
¼
1
mode, with less than 1% in the
l
¼
0
,
À
1
modes at any
0.001 0.01 0.1 10.0010.0050.0100.0500.1000.500
A
a)b)d)c)
FIG. 3 (color online). Contribution of transverse beam sizes tothe
j
l
j¼
1
helical bunching factor. The ratio of the
e
-beam size tothe rms laser spot size is (a)
2
 x
=w
0
(
1
, (b) 0.5, (c) 1, and (d) 2.
0 10 20 30 40 50 6010
2
10
4
10
6
10
8
10
10
z (m)
   P  o  w  e  r   (   W   )
l = -1l = 1l = 0
Total Power
010203040
   R   M   S  r  a   d   i  a   t   i  o  n  s   i  z  e   (  m   )
FIG. 4 (color online). Optical power in
l
modes for beamlasing at 1.5 A˚.
PRL
106,
164803 (2011)PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS
week ending22 APRIL 2011
164803-3

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