Solon, OH, United States
Solon, OH, United States

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Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 999.85K | Year: 2016

Next generation light sources, diffraction-limited storage rings, and high repetition rate free electron lasers will significantly increase the average brightness of the generated X-ray beams. These machines will require X-ray refractive optics with precise dimensional control and smooth surfaces that are capable of handling large heat loads. How the problem is being addressed: In this project we will machine refractive lenses out of single crystal diamonds by femtosecond laser pulses. The key advantage of this approach is in the short duration of the laser pulse. Unlike nanosecond pulses from standard laser cutters, femtosecond pulses only ablate the material and do not lead to thermal fatigue, subsequent crystalline defect formation and reduction in the quality of X-ray optical properties. What will be done in Phase I: We will fabricate a set of diamond X-ray lenses by fs-laser cutting followed by diamond slurry polishing. We plan to perform white-beam X-ray topography on the diamond sample before and after laser cutting to quantify the crystal damage induced by laser cutting. The lens geometry and surface roughness before and after polishing will be characterized by optical profilometry. Applications and benefits: The technology developed here is required to utilize X-ray beams at fourth generation light sources to maximum potential. Diamond is virtually the only material that can withstand the heat load of the next generation light sources. If an inexpensive manufacturing method is established, diamond refractive optics would supersede its current alternative, which is based on beryllium and has safety concerns.


Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 999.97K | Year: 2016

Currently, space-time resolution (STR) in the range 10-21 to 10-22 m∙s is available exclusively at free electron laser facilities, or by a few laser microscopes based on high harmonic generation. In practice, these tools have limited accessibility due to exorbitant equipment costs or meager beam time allocations. Because such record STR enables absolutely novel physics and emerging behavior in materials, these difficulties make it incredibly hard to accomplish large sets of experiments and cross validate new findings by the same group of researchers or within inter-laboratory collaborations. How the problem is being addressed: We propose to build the first prototype of a GHz stroboscopic TEM with STR ~10-20-10-23 m∙s, which is comparable or better than the STRs available at existing user facilities. Furthermore, the proposed system will be an affordable tool based on a standard TEM platform. This proposal is focused on bringing together two mature technologies, the CW-kicker-based electron buncher and the TEM, to make an accessible and fundamentally different stroboscopic instrument for imaging periodic processes. The new tool will have GHz sampling rate and time resolution in the 100 fs to 100 ps range, while preserving the unique spatial resolution of TEM. Unique measurements will become possible for many laboratories around the world to significantly improve technological outcome of scientific findings. What will be done in Phase I: In Phase I we will design and fabricate electromagnetic cavity buncher and perform its cold tests (to confirm target frequency and resonator quality factor) in that it is ready for installations in the existing TEM at BNL in Phase II. We will also provide electromagnetic design and electron beam dynamics simulation taking into account actual TEM architecture, and design synchronizing circuitry/electronics. Applications and benefits: Because electron microscopy is not only high spatial resolution imaging tool, but also a platform for a variety of analytical methods, such as EDS and EELS, there are endless application opportunities for GHz stroboscopic microscopy in energy and electronics research to resolve electron and ionic transport in advanced functional materials.


Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 999.98K | Year: 2016

Finding simple solutions to electron injection into superconducting radio frequency (SRF) accelerators is a long standing problem. While energies of 30-50 MeV are achievable by SRF technology, finding an electron source, able to survive under MW electric loads and provide an average current of 1-10 mA, is important. Meeting these requirements would open a novel way to supply the U.S.’ high demand for medical isotopes, such as Tc-99m, using accelerator technology. The natural way to simplify and integrate SRF architecture with the electron source would be to place the source directly into the SRF cavity. It is impossible to do using photo- and thermionic cathodes. Thus, a cold and dark cathode compatible with operating temperatures of a few kelvins is highly desirable. How the problem is being addressed: We propose a simple, robust and scalable field emission cathode (FEC) fabrication technology. Our material of choice is ultrananocrystalline diamond (UNCD) in the form of a thin film. UNCD has been proven to be a highly emissive material being stable under heavy electrical and heat loads. Thus, it is suitable for high repetition rate/CW applications. We have preliminary tested a planar UNCD FEC in a normal conducting 1.3 GHz electron gun. Electron emission from the UNCD planar surface with excellent emittance, energy spread, and stability was confirmed. A peak current of ~100 mA was achieved. At high repetition rate/CW operation, this current serves as an average current estimate for SRF applications. What will be done in Phase I: In Phase I, we will create predictive models of UNCD FEC performance in SRF injectors for the electron- ion collider at Brookhaven National Lab and for Mo-99 production linac facility at Niowave Inc. Then we will design custom cathode plugs with deposited UNCD emitters on top. We will attempt synthesis of a layered hybrid superconducting system boron-doped UNCD films on Nb substrates. If successful, their superconducting transition temperature will be measured. Applications and benefits: The proposed UNCD FEC technology can greatly benefit scientific programs within DOE, such as eRHIC at Brookhaven National Lab. Commercial applications include (1) electron accelerators for rare isotope production vital for medical diagnostics to replace obsolete nuclear reactor technology and (2) compact tunable (from vacuum UV to X-ray) bright inverse Compton scattering sources, vital for biochemistry research and the semiconductor industry (UV lithography).


An ElectroMagnetic-Mechanical Pulser can generate electron pulses at rates up to 50 GHz, energies up to 1 MeV, duty cycles up to 10%, and pulse widths between 100 fs and 10 ps. A modulating Transverse Deflecting Cavity (TDC) imposes a transverse modulation on a continuous electron beam, which is then chopped into pulses by an adjustable Chopping Collimating Aperture. Pulse dispersion due to the modulating TDC is minimized by a suppressing section comprising a plurality of additional TDCs and/or magnetic quadrupoles. In embodiments the suppression section includes a magnetic quadrupole and a TDC followed by four additional magnetic quadrupoles. The TDCs can be single-cell or triple-cell. A fundamental frequency of at least one TDC can be tuned by literally or virtually adjusting its volume. TDCs can be filled with vacuum, air, or a dielectric or ferroelectric material. Embodiments are easily switchable between passive, continuous mode and active pulsed mode.


Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 149.84K | Year: 2015

Statement of the problem: Finding simple solutions to electron injection into superconducting radio frequency (SRF) accelerators is a long standing problem. While energies of 30-50 MeV are achievable by SRF technology, finding an electron source, able to survive under MW electric loads and provide an average current of 1-10 mA, is important. Meeting these requirements would open a novel way to supply the U.S. high demand for medical isotopes, such as Tc-99m, using accelerator technology. The natural way to simplify and integrate SRF architecture with the electron source would be to place the source directly into the SRF cavity. It is impossible to do using photo- and thermionic cathodes. Thus, a cold and dark cathode compatible with operating temperatures of a few kelvins is highly desirable. How the problem is being addressed: We propose a simple, robust and scalable field emission cathode (FEC) fabrication technology. Our material of choice is ultrananocrystalline diamond (UNCD) in the form of a thin film. UNCD has been proven to be a highly emissive material being stable under heavy electrical and heat loads. Thus, it is suitable for high repetition rate/CW applications. We have preliminary tested a planar UNCD FEC in a normal conducting 1.3 GHz electron gun. Electron emission from the UNCD planar surface with excellent emittance, energy spread, and stability was confirmed. A peak current of ~100 mA was achieved. At high repetition rate/CW operation, this current serves as an average current estimate for SRF applications. What will be done in Phase I: In Phase I, we will create predictive models of UNCD FEC performance in SRF injectors for the electron- ion collider at Brookhaven National Lab and for Mo-99 production linac facility at Niowave Inc. Then we will design custom cathode plugs with deposited UNCD emitters on top. We will attempt synthesis of a layered hybrid superconducting system boron-doped UNCD films on Nb substrates. If successful, their superconducting transition temperature will be measured. Applications and benefits: The proposed UNCD FEC technology can greatly benefit scientific programs within DOE, such as eRHIC at Brookhaven National Lab. Commercial applications include (1) electron accelerators for rare isotope production vital for medical diagnostics to replace obsolete nuclear reactor technology and (2) compact tunable (from vacuum UV to X-ray) bright inverse Compton scattering sources, vital for biochemistry research and the semiconductor industry (UV lithography). Key words: field emission; ultrananocrystalline diamond; superconducting accelerator; rare isotopes Summary for members of congress: We plan to develop a new kind of robust planar field emission cathode based on synthetic polycrystalline diamond films that can significantly simplify RF gun architectures to drive high energy accelerator systems. This technology will become a method-of-choice for industrial and scientific applications thanks to simple and low-cost production cycle and avoidance of most of thermionic technology disadvantages.


Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 149.91K | Year: 2015

Statement of the problem: Currently, space-time resolution (STR) in the range 10-21 to 10-22 ms is available exclusively at free electron laser facilities, or by a few laser microscopes based on high harmonic generation. In practice, these tools have limited accessibility due to exorbitant equipment costs or meager beam time allocations. Because such record STR enables absolutely novel physics and emerging behavior in materials, these difficulties make it incredibly hard to accomplish large sets of experiments and cross validate new findings by the same group of researchers or within inter-laboratory collaborations. How the problem is being addressed: We propose to build the first prototype of a GHz stroboscopic TEM with STR ~10-20-10-23 ms, which is comparable or better than the STRs available at existing user facilities. Furthermore, the proposed system will be an affordable tool based on a standard TEM platform. This proposal is focused on bringing together two mature technologies, the CW-kicker-based electron buncher and the TEM, to make an accessible and fundamentally different stroboscopic instrument for imaging periodic processes. The new tool will have GHz sampling rate and time resolution in the 100 fs to 100 ps range, while preserving the unique spatial resolution of TEM. Unique measurements will become possible for many laboratories around the world to significantly improve technological outcome of scientific findings. What will be done in Phase I: In Phase I we will design and fabricate electromagnetic cavity buncher and perform its cold tests (to confirm target frequency and resonator quality factor) in that it is ready for installations in the existing TEM at BNL in Phase II. We will also provide electromagnetic design and electron beam dynamics simulation taking into account actual TEM architecture, and design synchronizing circuitry/electronics. Applications and benefits: Because electron microscopy is not only high spatial resolution imaging tool, but also a platform for a variety of analytical methods, such as EDS and EELS, there are endless application opportunities for GHz stroboscopic microscopy in energy and electronics research to resolve electron and ionic transport in advanced functional materials. Key words: transmission electron microscope; gigahertz; electromagnetic cavity; stroboscopic electron microscopy Summary for members of congress: Present proposal matches and benefits future envisions of the Office of Basic Energy Sciences of DOE and its core mission to promote U.S. competitiveness in advanced measurements science and technology.


Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 149.94K | Year: 2015

Statement of the problem: Next generation light sources, diffraction-limited storage rings, and high repetition rate free electron lasers will significantly increase the average brightness of the generated X-ray beams. These machines will require X-ray refractive optics with precise dimensional control and smooth surfaces that are capable of handling large heat loads. How the problem is being addressed: In this project we will machine refractive lenses out of single crystal diamonds by femtosecond laser pulses. The key advantage of this approach is in the short duration of the laser pulse. Unlike nanosecond pulses from standard laser cutters, femtosecond pulses only ablate the material and do not lead to thermal fatigue, subsequent crystalline defect formation and reduction in the quality of X-ray optical properties. What will be done in Phase I: We will fabricate a set of diamond X-ray lenses by fs-laser cutting followed by diamond slurry polishing. We plan to perform white-beam X-ray topography on the diamond sample before and after laser cutting to quantify the crystal damage induced by laser cutting. The lens geometry and surface roughness before and after polishing will be characterized by optical profilometry. Applications and benefits: The technology developed here is required to utilize X-ray beams at fourth generation light sources to maximum potential. Diamond is virtually the only material that can withstand the heat load of the next generation light sources. If an inexpensive manufacturing method is established, diamond refractive optics would supersede its current alternative, which is based on beryllium and has safety concerns. Key words: X-ray, diamond, compound refractive lens, femtosecond laser Summary for members of congress: We are developing the next generation of optics for focusing the X-ray beams from free electron lasers and synchrotrons. These machines are high quality X-ray sources that have already made a great scientific impact and will continue be an essential research tool for future research and development in medicine, materials science, and basic science.


Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 999.76K | Year: 2015

Linear colliders based on two-beam wakefield acceleration have an intrinsically modular design. A fundamental requirement of two-beam wakefield acceleration that has yet to be demonstrated is the staging of sequential accelerating modules. For a successful staging demonstration two key things have to be addressed: drive beam separation and the timing between the accelerated beam and wakes from different stages. Previous methods addressed the timing issue by sending the drive beam through a 180 degree bend, but this leads to problems with coherent synchrotron radiation and subsequent degradation of beam quality. We propose to use a fast stripline kicker for drive bunch train management. We estimate that the power requirement and turn-on time are well within a grasp of current technology. Synchronization of the main (witness) beam with wakefields generated by the drive beam can be done by a series of variable microwave power delay lines, which eliminates the need to bend the drive beam. We propose to use an overmoded TE01 mode based cylindrical waveguide as a delay line because of the reduced power loss of this mode. In the Phase I project, we have designed and built all necessary hardware to setup and demonstrate a major component of the staging process. Starting with initial staging experiment early in the Phase II work, we will demonstrate the entire staging process by the end of the project. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: Staging is a key experiment that has to be demonstrated for the validation of the wakefield collider concept. If the main (witness) beam can be made synchronous with the drive beam wakefield generated in separate stages, and preservation of the main beam emittance can be shown, then a collider at a given energy can be designed by just stacking together the required number of wakefield modules.


Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 999.95K | Year: 2013

The laser plasma accelerator (LPA) is a very promising technology for generating gamma rays for the detection of contraband bulk nuclear materials, but is currently limited by the rate at which the beam can be pulsed. Erosion of the capillary plasma channel is the main limiting factor and can be mitigated through the use of artificial diamond to construct the channel. Computational modeling and experimental testing of both diamond and sapphire capillaries are used to determine the relative erosion rates due to the discharge plasma and the laser pulse passing through the capillaries. In Phase I, numerical simulations showed that unlike sapphire, diamond could allow operation of the discharge at & gt;1 kHz repetition rates. Experiments demonstrated that diamond structures could be used as LPA capillaries. In addition, after exposure to 1.3 x 106 plasma pulses with a repetition rate ~5 Hz, diamond eroded by a factor of 20 less than sapphire under the same conditions. In Phase II we plan to: Perform refined thermal simulations including heat deposition from the laser pulse to define the LPA performance limitations of both diamond and sapphire capillaries; Manufacture improved design diamond and sapphire capillary waveguides; Minimize discharge heat deposition in the diamond and sapphire capillary waveguides; Build erosion diagnostics and perform erosion rate tests at 10 Hz and; Experimentally determine maximum achievable repetition rates (up to ~1 kHz). Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: Enabling compact LPAs with repetition rates up to several kHz could provide the rapid and accurate detection of nuclear or radiological weapons concealed in shipping containers by providing a high energy, monochromatic, rasterizable gamma source (by exploiting Thomson scattering of laser light from the electron beam). In addition the LPA electron beams and associated radiation that can range from THz to x-ray wavelengths have applications in basic physics, chemistry, biology, medicine, and material science.


Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 999.46K | Year: 2014

Most time resolved studies of processes in materials to date have made use of readily available visible and near-visible pump sources to trigger the events and, thus were able to study only a small subset of phenomena. Recently, investigations of the dynamics stimulated by THz pulses have led to advances like the selective control of an insulator-metal transition, discovery of light induced superconductivity and observation of coherent nonlinear photonic effects that can be used for ultrafast control of materials. Excitations of complex condensed matter driven by THz pulses exhibit interesting dynamics that can also be used in a new generation of electronics. For these experiments it is critical to obtain pump pulses in the THz frequency range (0.3 to 10 THz) that are tunable with a bandwidth on the order of 1% and energy per pulse of ~ 1mJ. Building on our recent successful experiment we propose a three stage THz source scheme. Two of the stages have already been demonstrated separately. In the first stage the beam is modulated in energy by passing through a passive wakefield device. The energy modulation is then converted into a density modulation by means of a chicane. In the third stage, the bunched beam produces a narrowband high power pulse of terahertz radiation by going through a power extractor. The beam based source provides sufficient power and allows for a wide tuning range. Prior to this Phase I proposal we had separately demonstrated two key stages of the proposed three stage THz source. In Phase I we designed, fabricated and tested the third stage separately. A narrowband THz signal was obtained. We designed full scale THz sources in two frequency ranges for experiments at the Brookhaven National Laboratory and Argonne National Laboratory. In Phase II, we plan first to use the ATF facility to demonstrate a full scale THz source and study its spectral purity and bandwidth, power levels, frequency tuning methods and range, and finally the free space matching and radiation patterns. The ultimate objective of the Phase II project is to develop and demonstrate an ultrahigh energy (~ 1 mJ) narrow band tunable THz source. The experience gained during the project will culminate in the design of a standalone THz source based on a compact, few MeV (medical /cargo inspection) accelerator. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: A tunable, powerful, narrowband THz source will allow scientists to selectively excite and study new dynamic phenomena at light sources. Besides applications for basic science, these sources can find a variety of applications in communications, non-destructive evaluation, radar systems and medical diagnostics.

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