Ultrashort, MeV-scale laser-plasma positron source for positron annihilation lifetime spectroscopy

Thomas L. Audet, Aaron Alejo, Luke Calvin, Mark Hugh Cunningham, Glenn Ross Frazer, Gagik Nersisyan, Michael Phipps, Jonathan Richard Warwick, Gianluca Sarri, Nasr A.M. Hafz, Christos Kamperidis, Li Song, Daniel Papp

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Submicron defects represent a well-known fundamental problem in manufacturing since they can significantly affect performance and lifetime of virtually any high-value component. Positron annihilation lifetime spectroscopy is arguably the only established method capable of detecting defects down to the subnanometer scale but, to date, it only works for surface studies, and with limited resolution. Here, we experimentally and numerically show that laser-driven systems can overcome these well-known limitations, by generating ultrashort positron beams with a kinetic energy tuneable from 500 keV up to 2 MeV and a number of positrons per shot in a 50 keV energy slice of the order of . Numerical simulations of the expected performance of a typical mJ-scale kHz laser demonstrate the possibility of generating MeV-scale narrow-band and ultrashort positron beams with a flux exceeding , of interest for fast volumetric scanning of materials at high resolution.

Original languageEnglish
Article number073402
JournalPhysical Review Accelerators and Beams
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We acknowledge support from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (Grants No. EP/V044397/1, No. EP/N027175/1, and No. EP/P010059/1) and fruitful discussions within the EuPRAXIA collaboration. Four of the authors (D. P., S. L., C. K., N. A. M. H.) are supported by the European Union through the ELI-ALPS Project under Grant No. GINOP-2.3.6-15-2015-00001 and in part by Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation under Grant Agreement No. 654148 and No. 871124 Laserlab-Europe. N. A. M. H. acknowledges the President International Fellowship Initiative (PIFI) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences; the International Partnership Program (No. 181231KYSB20170022) of CAS; the Inter-Governmental Science and Technology Cooperation of MOST.

Funding Information:
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council European Commission Horizon 2020 Framework Programme Chinese Academy of Sciences Ministry of Science and Technology of the People?s Republic of China

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Published by the American Physical Society

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • physics.acc-ph
  • physics.plasm-ph

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)
  • Surfaces and Interfaces


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