Development of control mechanisms for a laser wakefield accelerator-driven bremsstrahlung X-ray source for advanced radiographic imaging

Underwood, C I D and Baird, C D and Murphy, C D and Armstrong, C D and Thorton, C and Finlay, O J and Streeter, M J V and Selwood, M P and Brierley, N and Cipiccia, S and Gruse, J-N and McKenna, Paul and Najmudin, Z and Neely, D and Rusby, D and Symes, D R and Brenner, C M (2020) Development of control mechanisms for a laser wakefield accelerator-driven bremsstrahlung X-ray source for advanced radiographic imaging. Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion, 62 (12). 124002. ISSN 0741-3335

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    Abstract

    A high power laser was used to accelerate electrons in a laser-driven wakefield accelerator. The high energy electrons were then used to generate an x-ray beam by passing them through a converter target. This bremsstrahlung source was characterised and used to perform penetrative imaging of industrially relevant samples. The photon spectrum had a critical energy in excess of 100 MeV and a source size smaller than the resolution of the diagnostic (≲150 µm). Simulations indicate a significantly smaller source is achievable. Variations in the x-ray source characteristics were realised through changes to the plasma and converter parameters while simulations confirm the adaptability of the source. Imaging of high areal density objects with 150 µm resolution was performed, demonstrating the unique advantages of this novel source.

    ORCID iDs

    Underwood, C I D, Baird, C D, Murphy, C D, Armstrong, C D, Thorton, C, Finlay, O J, Streeter, M J V, Selwood, M P, Brierley, N, Cipiccia, S, Gruse, J-N, McKenna, Paul ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8061-7091, Najmudin, Z, Neely, D, Rusby, D, Symes, D R and Brenner, C M;