Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Space Industry and Business News .




CHIP TECH
Researchers demonstrate 'accelerator on a chip'
by Staff Writers
Stanford CA (SPX) Oct 01, 2013


The key to the accelerator chips is tiny, precisely spaced ridges, which cause the iridescence seen in this close-up photo. Credit: Matt Beardsley, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.

In an advance that could dramatically shrink particle accelerators for science and medicine, researchers used a laser to accelerate electrons at a rate 10 times higher than conventional technology in a nanostructured glass chip smaller than a grain of rice.

The achievement was reported today in Nature by a team including scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University.

"We still have a number of challenges before this technology becomes practical for real-world use, but eventually it would substantially reduce the size and cost of future high-energy particle colliders for exploring the world of fundamental particles and forces," said Joel England, the SLAC physicist who led the experiments. "It could also help enable compact accelerators and X-ray devices for security scanning, medical therapy and imaging, and research in biology and materials science."

Because it employs commercial lasers and low-cost, mass-production techniques, the researchers believe it will set the stage for new generations of "tabletop" accelerators.

At its full potential, the new "accelerator on a chip" could match the accelerating power of SLAC's 2-mile-long linear accelerator in just 100 feet, and deliver a million more electron pulses per second.

This initial demonstration achieved an acceleration gradient, or amount of energy gained per length, of 300 million electronvolts per meter. That's roughly 10 times the acceleration provided by the current SLAC linear accelerator.

"Our ultimate goal for this structure is 1 billion electronvolts per meter, and we're already one-third of the way in our first experiment," said Stanford Professor Robert Byer, the principal investigator for this research.

Today's accelerators use microwaves to boost the energy of electrons. Researchers have been looking for more economical alternatives, and this new technique, which uses ultrafast lasers to drive the accelerator, is a leading candidate.

Particles are generally accelerated in two stages. First they are boosted to nearly the speed of light. Then any additional acceleration increases their energy, but not their speed; this is the challenging part.

In the accelerator-on-a-chip experiments, electrons are first accelerated to near light-speed in a conventional accelerator. Then they are focused into a tiny, half-micron-high channel within a fused silica glass chip just half a millimeter long. The channel had been patterned with precisely spaced nanoscale ridges.

Infrared laser light shining on the pattern generates electrical fields that interact with the electrons in the channel to boost their energy. (See the accompanying animation for more detail.)

the accelerator on a chip into a full-fledged tabletop accelerator will require a more compact way to get the electrons up to speed before they enter the device.

A collaborating research group in Germany, led by Peter Hommelhoff at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, has been looking for such a solution. It simultaneously reports in Physical Review Letters its success in using a laser to accelerate lower-energy electrons.

Applications for these new particle accelerators would go well beyond particle physics research. Byer said laser accelerators could drive compact X-ray free-electron lasers, comparable to SLAC's Linac Coherent Light Source, that are all-purpose tools for a wide range of research.

Another possible application is small, portable X-ray sources to improve medical care for people injured in combat, as well as provide more affordable medical imaging for hospitals and laboratories. That's one of the goals of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA) Advanced X-Ray Integrated Sources (AXiS) program, which partially funded this research. Primary funding for this research is from the DOE's Office of Science.

The study's lead authors were Stanford graduate students Edgar Peralta and Ken Soong. Peralta created the patterned fused silica chips in the Stanford Nanofabrication Facility. Soong implemented the high-precision laser optics for the experiment at SLAC's Next Linear Collider Test Accelerator. Additional contributors included researchers from the University of California-Los Angeles and Tech-X Corp. in Boulder, Colo. E. A. Peralta et al., Nature, 27 Sept 2013 (10.1038/nature12664)

.


Related Links
DOE/SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
Computer Chip Architecture, Technology and Manufacture
Nano Technology News From SpaceMart.com






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





CHIP TECH
Spirals of Light May Lead to Better Electronics
Los Angeles CA (SPX) Oct 01, 2013
A group of researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) has created the optical equivalent of a tuning fork-a device that can help steady the electrical currents needed to power high-end electronics and stabilize the signals of high-quality lasers. The work marks the first time that such a device has been miniaturized to fit on a chip and may pave the way to improvements in hi ... read more


CHIP TECH
New sensor could prolong the lifespan of high-temperature engines

Paradigm shift: Need something in space? Print it, don't ship it

China to be world's top gold buyer this year: experts

NGC Completes Safety of Flight Testing on Common Infrared Countermeasure System

CHIP TECH
Third Advanced EHF Satellite Will Enhance Resiliency of Military Communications

USAF Launches Third Advanced Extremely High Frequency Satellite

Atlas 5 Lofts 3rd AEHF Military Comms Satellites

Unified Military Intelligence Picture Helping to Dispel the Fog of War

CHIP TECH
UFO? Star cluster? No, it's Falcon 9's jettisoned fuel

ILS Proton Successfully Launches ASTRA 2E for SES

APSCC 2013 reaffirms Arianespace's focus on the Asia-Pacific region

Arianespace and Astrium sign deal to begin production of 18 new Ariane 5 vehicles

CHIP TECH
Astrium down selected for MOJ electronic tagging contract

Lockheed Martin GPS 3 Satellite Prototype Integrated With Raytheon OCX Ground Control Segment

China's navi-location industries to boom: white paper

OHN Christner Trucking Selects Orbcomm For Refrigerated Telematics Solution

CHIP TECH
US F-35 jet plagued by shoddy quality control: audit

Indian navy gets its first Hawk trainer jets

Lockheed focused on South Korean jet re-tender

NGC and USAF Complete Warfighter Analysis Workshops

CHIP TECH
Researchers demonstrate 'accelerator on a chip'

Spirals of Light May Lead to Better Electronics

Promising new alloy for resistive switching memory

Counting on neodymium

CHIP TECH
Flood maps from satellite data can help emergency response

Japan takes issue with Google maps over islands: reports

Australia's new prototype vehicle to improve Earth observation satellites' accuracy

UCLA scientists explain the formation of unusual ring of radiation in space

CHIP TECH
Pollution deadlier than road accidents in Sao Paulo

Chile ruling to keep Barrick mine closed to late 2014

Legacy Soil Pollution Higher lead levels may lie just below surface

PNG makes BHP liable for environmental damage from mine




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement