Experimental Study of Storage Ring Free-Electron Laser with Novel Capabilities

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Yan, Jun


Wu, Ying K

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The Duke Free-electron laser (FEL) system, driven by the Duke electron storage ring, has been at the forefront of developing new light source capabilities over the past two decades. In 1999, the Duke FEL demonstrated the first lasing of a storage ring FEL in the vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) region at $194$ nm using two planar OK-4 undulators. With two helical undulators added to the outboard sides of the planar undulators, in 2005 the highest FEL gain ($47.8\%$) of a storage ring FEL was achieved using the Duke FEL system with a four-undulator configuration. In addition, the Duke FEL has been used as the photon source to drive the High Intensity $\gamma$-ray Source (HIGS) via Compton scattering of the FEL beam and electron beam inside the FEL cavity. Taking advantage of FEL's wavelength tunability as well as the adjustability of the energy of the electron beam in the storage ring, the nearly monochromatic $\gamma$-ray beam has been produced in a wide energy range from $1$ to $100$ MeV at the HIGS. To further push the FEL short wavelength limit and enhance the FEL gain in the VUV regime for high energy $\gamma$-ray production, two additional helical undulators were installed in 2012 using an undulator switchyard system to allow switching between the two planar and two helical undulators in the middle section of the FEL system. Using different undulator configurations made possible by the switchyard, a number of novel capabilities of the storage ring FEL have been developed and exploited for a wide FEL wavelength range from infrared (IR) to VUV. These new capabilities will eventually be made available to the $\gamma$-ray operation, which will greatly enhance the $\gamma$-ray user research program, creating new opportunities for certain types of nuclear physics research.

With the wide wavelength tuning range, the FEL is an intrinsically well-suited device to produce lasing with multiple colors. Taking advantage of the availability of an undulator system with multiple undulators, we have demonstrated the first two-color lasing of a storage ring FEL. Using either a three- or four-undulator configuration with a pair of dual-band high reflectivity mirrors, we have achieved simultaneous lasing in the IR and UV spectral regions. With the low-gain feature of the storage ring FEL, the power generated at the two wavelengths can be equally built up and precisely balanced to reach FEL saturation. A systematic experimental program to characterize this two-color FEL has been carried out, including precise power control, a study of the power stability of two-color lasing, wavelength tuning, and the impact of the FEL mirror degradation. Using this two-color laser, we have started to develop a new two-color $\gamma$-ray beam for scientific research at the HIGS.

Using the undulator switchyard, four helical undulators installed in the beamline can be configured to not only enhance the FEL gain in the VUV regime, but also allow for the full polarization control of the FEL beams. For the accelerator operation, the use of helical undulators is essential to extend the FEL mirror lifetime by reducing radiation damage from harmonic undulator radiation. Using a pair of helical undulators with opposite helicities, we have realized (1) fast helicity switching between left- and right-circular polarizations, and (2) the generation of fully controllable linear polarization. In order to extend these new capabilities of polarization control to the $\gamma$-ray operation in a wide energy range at the HIGS, a set of FEL polarization diagnostic systems need to be developed to cover the entire FEL wavelength range. The preliminary development of the polarization diagnostics for the wavelength range from IR to UV has been carried out.






Yan, Jun (2016). Experimental Study of Storage Ring Free-Electron Laser with Novel Capabilities. Dissertation, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/12880.


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