Development of control mechanisms for a laser wakefield accelerator-driven bremsstrahlung X-ray source for advanced radiographic imaging

C I D Underwood, C D Baird, C D Murphy, C D Armstrong , C Thorton, O J Finlay, M J V Streeter, M P Selwood, N Brierley, S Cipiccia, J-N Gruse, Paul McKenna, Z Najmudin, D Neely, D Rusby, D R Symes, C M Brenner

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Abstract

A high power laser (TW) was used to accelerate electrons in a laser-driven wakefield accelerator. The high energy electrons were then used to generate an X-ray beam by passing them through a converter target. This bremsstrahlung source was characterised and used to perform penetrative imaging of industrially relevant samples. The photon spectrum had a critical energy in excess of 100MeV and a source size smaller than the resolution of the diagnostic (.150 μm). Simulations indicate a significantly smaller source is achievable. Variations in the X-ray source characteristics were realised through changes to the plasma and converter parameters while simulations confirm the adaptability of the source. Imaging of high areal density objects with 150 μm resolution was performed, demonstrating the unique advantages of this novel source.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPlasma Physics and Controlled Fusion
Early online date6 Oct 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 Oct 2020

Keywords

  • laser wakefield acceleration
  • Bremsstrahlung source
  • X-ray characterisation
  • radiography
  • non-destructive testing

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