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Laser-wakefield accelerators (LWFAs) are high acceleration-gradient plasma-based particle accelerators capable of producing ultra-relativistic electron beams. Within the strong focusing fields of the wakefield, accelerated electrons undergo betatron oscillations, emitting a bright pulse of X-rays with a micrometer-scale source size that may be used for imaging applications. Non-destructive X-ray phase contrast imaging and tomography of heterogeneous materials can provide insight into their processing, structure, and performance. To demonstrate the imaging capability of X-rays from an LWFA we have examined an irregular eutectic in the aluminum-silicon (Al-Si) system. The lamellar spacing of the Al-Si eutectic microstructure is on the order of a few micrometers, thus requiring high spatial resolution. We present comparisons between the sharpness and spatial resolution in phase contrast images of this eutectic alloy obtained via X-ray phase contrast imaging at the Swiss Light Source (SLS) synchrotron and X-ray projection microscopy via an LWFA source. An upper bound on the resolving power of 2.7 ± 0.3 μm of the LWFA source in this experiment was measured. These results indicate that betatron X-rays from laser wakefield acceleration can provide an alternative to conventional synchrotron sources for high resolution imaging of eutectics and, more broadly, complex microstructures.
- laser-wakefield accelerators (LWFAs)
- particle accelerators
- electron beams
- non-destructive X-ray phase
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- 4 Finished
- 19 Citations
- 1 Comment/debate
Author correction: Laser-wakefield accelerators for high-resolution X-ray imaging of complex microstructures (Scientific Reports, (2019), 9, 1, (3249), 10.1038/s41598-019-39845-4)Hussein, A. E., Senabulya, N., Ma, Y., Streeter, M. J. V., Kettle, B., Dann, S. J. D., Albert, F., Bourgeois, N., Cipiccia, S., Cole, J. M., Finlay, O., Gerstmayr, E., González, I. G., Higginbotham, A., Jaroszynski, D. A., Falk, K., Krushelnick, K., Lemos, N., Lopes, N. C., Lumsdon, C. & 14 others, , 1 Dec 2020, In: Scientific Reports. 10, 1, 1 p., 320.
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