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Bright spatially coherent synchrotron X-rays from a table-top source

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  • S. Kneip
  • C. McGuffey
  • J. L. Martins
  • S. F. Martins
  • C. Bellei
  • V. Chvykov
  • F. Dollar
  • R. Fonseca
  • C. Huntington
  • G. Kalintchenko
  • A. Maksimchuk
  • S. P. D. Mangles
  • T. Matsuoka
  • S. R. Nagel
  • J. Schreiber
  • K. Ta Phuoc
  • V. Yanovsky
  • L. O. Silva
  • K. Krushelnick
  • Z. Najmudin
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>12/2010
<mark>Journal</mark>Nature Physics
Issue number12
Number of pages4
Pages (from-to)980-983
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date24/10/10
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Each successive generation of X-ray machines has opened up new frontiers in science, such as the first radiographs and the determination of the structure of DNA. State-of-the-art X-ray sources can now produce coherent high-brightness Xrays of greater than kiloelectronvolt energy and promise a new revolution in imaging complex systems on nanometre and femtosecond scales. Despite the demand, only a few dedicated synchrotron facilities exist worldwide, in part because of the size and cost of conventional (accelerator) technology(1). Here we demonstrate the use of a new generation of laser-driven plasma accelerators(2), which accelerate high-charge electron beams to high energy in short distances(3-5), to produce directional, spatially coherent, intrinsically ultrafast beams of hard X-rays. This reduces the size of the synchrotron source from the tens of metres to the centimetre scale, simultaneously accelerating and wiggling the electron beam. The resulting X-ray source is 1,000 times brighter than previously reported plasma wigglers(6,7) and thus has the potential to facilitate a myriad of uses across the whole spectrum of light-source applications.