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

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, C. A.J. Palmer, J. Schreiber, K. Ta Phuoc, A. G.R. Thomas, V. Yanovsky, L. O. SilvaK. Krushelnick, Z. Najmudin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

327 Citations (Scopus)


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 X-rays 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)980-983
Number of pages4
JournalNature Physics
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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