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Proceedings of LINAC2002, Gyeongju, Korea

ULTRAFAST MATERIALS PROBING WITH THE LLNL


THOMSON X-RAY SOURCE
A. Tremaine, S. Anderson, W. Brown, C. Barty, R. Cauble, J Crane, H. Cynn, C. Ebbers, D.
Fittinghoff, D. Gibson, F. Hartemann, I. Jovanovich, J. Kuba, G. LeSage, A. McMahan, R. Minich,
J. Moriarty, B. Remington, D. Slaughter, P. Springer, F. H. Steitz, C-s. Yoo, LLNL, Livermore,
CA., 94550, USA
J. Rosenzweig, UCLA, LA., CA., 90095, USA
T. Ditmire, Univerisy of Texas, Austin, TX, 85721, USA
Abstract pulse lengths below 1 ps. A temporally compressed laser
The use of short laser pulses to generate very high pulse is focused onto a short relativistic electron pulse.
brightness, ultra short (fs to ps) x-ray pulses is a topic of Fig. 1 shows how the resulting hard x-rays can then be
great interest. In principle, femtosecond-scale pump-probe used for numerous laser-x-ray pump probe experiments,
experiments can be used to temporally resolve structural similar to extended x-ray absorption fine structure
dynamics of materials on the time scale of atomic motion. (EXAFS) spectroscopy [1].
The development of sub–ps x-ray pulses will make
possible a wide range of materials and plasma physics 2 EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN
studies with unprecedented time resolution. PLEIADES Ultra fast x-ray pulses are generated by scattering a
(Picosecond Laser Electron Interaction for Dynamic high power, ultra short 800 nm laser pulse off relativistic
Evaluation of Structures), the Thomson scattering project
at LLNL, will provide such a novel x-ray source of high Short pulse of soft or
sample
hard x-rays
power using short laser pulses and a high brightness,
relativistic electron bunch. The system is based on a
5 mm-mrad normalized emittance photoinjector, 100
MeV electron RF linac, and a 300 mJ, 35 fs solid-state
laser system. PLEIADES will produce ultra fast pulses
with x-ray energies (60 keV) capable of probing into
EXAFS Detector
high-Z metals. Diffraction or
Transmission
Laser
Crystal spectrometer
¥30 fs for heating
¥ns for shocking
1 INTRODUCTION
Initial fast dynamic studies of laser excited materials [1]
Reflectivity

Bragg
Diffraction
have been pursued in recent years using time-resolved x- Detector

ray detectors at synchrotron sources and laser-plasma x-


ray sources in pump-probe experiments [2,3]. Third T probe - T pump
generation synchrotrons have been critical for x-ray Laser heating Cooling
studies in materials, but have a major limitation: although lattice expansion

they probe structure on the atomic length scale, their time Fig. 1 Schematic of laser-x-ray pump-probe experiments
resolution (~ 100 ps) is not well-matched to the natural electrons at the LLNL 100 MeV electron linac. The
dynamics of elemental processes in solids, such as the scattered laser photons are relativistically up shifted in
time scale for atomic motion (~10-50 fs). Laser melting in frequency into the hard x-ray range, and are emitted in a
semiconductors may involve excitation, electron-phonon narrow cone about the electron beam direction.
coupling, melt front motion and shock waves, all with < As viewed in the frame of the moving electrons, the
30 ps relevant timescales. X-rays produced from hot incident laser pulse train appears as an electromagnetic
plasma sources can achieve very short pulse lengths, but undulator of wavelength λu=λL/γ(1–cosΨ), where
the low peak brightness forces multiple shot
γ=E/moc2 and Ψ is the incident angle between electron
measurements and may lead to target destruction by the
and laser beams as shown in Figure 2. The electrons
pump excitation.
radiate photons, which are up shifted back into the
We have undertaken the development of an x-ray
laboratory frame by a second factor of 2γ. The x-ray
source based on laser scattering off a relativistic electron
wavelength is therefore related to the initial laser
bunch. This Thomson scattering approach offers the
wavelength by
potential to produce x-rays in a unique regime. The LLNL
source will exceed the brilliances currently offered at third λx=λL/2γ2(1-cosΨ) (1)
generation synchrotron light sources while delivering

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Proceedings of LINAC2002, Gyeongju, Korea

where λL is the laser wavelength. In the laboratory frame, photoinjector, shown schematically in Figure 3 below, has
the up shifted x-rays are confined to a narrow cone with been designed, constructed, and characterized.
opening angle ~1/γ, and their energy varies with A pulse of S-band (2.8545 GHz) RF input with 7 MW
observation angle in the laboratory due to the kinematics peak power and 3 µs pulse length produces a peak
of the Lorentz transformation. The laboratory x-ray standing wave electric field of 100 MV/m that accelerates
energy (for scattering of the fundamental) is the electrons to 5 MeV in less than a 10 cm distance. A
laser pulse, split from the Falcon laser oscillator is
Ex=EL 2γ2 (1-cosΨ)/(1 + γ2θ2 + ao2) (2) amplified and frequency tripled before striking a copper
where EL is the laser photon energy, θ is the observation photocathode near the peak RF field. The electrons
angle and ao is the usual normalized vector potential of the bunches produced have 1-10 nC of charge with pulse
laser field, which is analogous to the K parameter of a lengths of about 10 ps. Focusing solenoids are employed
static field undulator. to preserve the transverse emittance [11] of the electron
The LBNL Advanced Light Source injector linac beam immediately off the cathode and to help match the
previously demonstrated generation of sub-ps pulses of electron beam into 4 slac type linac sections, which
hard x-rays by Thomson scattering [4,5]. The LLNL increase the beam energy to 40-100 MeV.
Thomson source presently under development is expected Initial production of Thomson x-rays at LLNL utilized
to achieve an x-ray beam flux some four to five orders of 20 mJ laser pulses and 5 MeV electron bunches from the
magnitude larger, enabling the accumulation of sufficient photoinjector at 10 Hz. Successful overlap of the two
data for a high quality Bragg diffraction spectrum on each beam demonstrated 0.6 keV x-ray production [12]. This
shot. result established the ability to focus the laser and electron
We expect to produce up to 107 x-ray photons in a ~100 beams to small spots and synchronize both beams. For
fs pulse, and up to 109 x-rays in a 1-10 ps pulse, by high flux x-rays, the electron beam, with an energy of 100
scattering the laser respectively either across the electron MeV, and Falcon laser will both need to be focused to
beam (Ψ= 90o) which minimizes the temporal overlap, or under 40 microns with synchronization <3 ps
in a head-on (Ψ=180o) geometry [6,7], which maximizes At high energy (100 MeV) the minimum focal spot
the interaction of the electrons and Falcon laser. To obtainable for the electron beam is emittance dominated
achieve enhancements over other Thomson sources, we for bunch charges in the nC range. Simulations
are making two straightforward but critical improvements: Microwave Power Input
a low emittance electron beam derived from a (10 MW, 3 µs)
photoinjector and a high power, 10 TW Ti:sapphire laser
with a future upgrade to 100 TW. UV Laser Input
synchronized to FALCON

Ψ
Electron Beam Output
Laser Accelerating fields:
100 MV/m peak 5MeV, 1-10 nC, 1-10 ps
pulse (to 100 MeV Linac)

X-ray Vacuum Pumping Port


pulse
Fig. 4 Photo-injector gun
Electron
bunch of the electron beam emittance have been carried out
using the PARMELA code and the results used to predict
Fig. 2 Thomson scattering geometry beam performance for the Thomson scattering
experiments. The results predict a low emittance beam
3 ELECTRON INJECTOR AND LASER that can be focused to a 20 µm spot with a convergence
The Falcon laser is a Ti:sapphire laser based on chirped angle of 5 mrad. To accomplish this, the normalized
pulse amplification. To date, we have integrated the transverse emittance must be less than 10 mm–mrad, a
Falcon laser with the linac and made preparations to requirement within the photoinjector’s capability.
transport the laser pulses to the electron beam. A quadrupole triplet will provide the final focus of the
The LLNL Falcon laser [8,9] currently produces electron beam before interaction with the Falcon laser. In
300 mJ pulses at a 10 Hz repitition rate. Each pulse width a strong focusing field, low energy spread is also
can be as short as 35 fs giving nearly three decades higher important to maintain a short longitudinal width at the
brightness than in previous scattering experiments. focus, which the photoinjector can produce.
Anticipated laser upgrades to 4 J coupled with increases Ultimately, the goal is to place as many monoenergetic,
in electron bunch charge will further extend this collimated electrons as possible into the laser focus for the
advantage. production of up–shifted x-ray photons. Achieving a very
An RF photocathode electron injector [10] produces the high peak current is most important for the transverse
high brightness, low emittance electron beams. This interaction of the Falcon laser pulse and electron beam.

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Proceedings of LINAC2002, Gyeongju, Korea

To attain the high current, the electron energy in the 5 SUMMARY


bunch will be chirped by a dephased linac section,
A high power (10 TW) short pulse (35 fs) laser has
allowing for a ballistic compression of the electron beam
been integrated with a 100 MeV electron linac to provide
from 10 to 2 ps [13]. A complementary dephased linac
a Thomson scattering source of x-rays tunable in
section removes the energy chirp after compression for
wavelength over a range of 10-200 keV. By driving the
maximum beam peak current. More compression in the
photoinjectro/linac with the same short pulse as the laser,
electron beam would cause a detrimental increase in the
good synchronization of 1-2 ps between the two is
emittance, and the energy spread would be too large to be
possible. Very low emittance electron bunches allow for
completely removed by the complementary linac section.
tightly focused spots at the interaction. When properly
focused the scattered beams are predicted to provide an
4 PHOTO ELECTRON BEAM unprecedented high brightness (up to 1010 x–rays per
MEASUREMENTS pulse) in durations as short as 1-2 ps, and slightly lower
Once the initial Thomson scattering experiments were intensity in durations as short as 100 fs. The 10%
completed, the photo-injector was installed in the linac bandwidth, tunable wavelength range, and high per–pulse
beamline where acceleration up to 100 MeV was possible. flux of the Thomson source will make it ideal for
The photo-cathode uv drive laser transport was performing absorption edge spectroscopy of metals at a
completed, and intial commissioning of the photo variety of wavelengths
beamline started with a 130 µJ, 2 mm spot on the cathode
with upgrades to 1 mJ and smaller spots planned for the 6 REFERENCES
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