New technology for generating high-energy gamma radiation

17 June 2022

On 1 June 2022, the EU-funded project TECHNO-CLS started with the participation of the X1 collaboration of the Institute of Nuclear Physics. Eleven partners from Germany, Italy, Great Britain, France, Greece and Belgium are researching how to generate high-energy gamma radiation by exposure so-called oriented crystals with ultra-relativistic charged particles. The aim is to achieve photon energies of up to GeV, which is equivalent to radiation wavelengths of up to a few femtometres. So far, it has not been possible to generate such extremely short-wave radiation with existing radiation sources. From an experimental point of view, however, it promises access to unprecedentedly small structures and is thus of particular importance for research and applications in the field of nuclear and solid-state physics as well as the life sciences.

The TECHNO-CLS consortium combines theoretical, computational, experimental and technological contributions. The central task, which is being worked on at the Institute of Nuclear Physics, is the provision of a relativistic high-quality positron beam of low emittance. Such positrons can be guided over longer distances in crystals, whereby the intensity of the radiation produced there can be significantly increased by coherent effects, similar to a magnetic undulator. In addition, a case study will investigate whether positrons can also be accelerated from the source with the existing MAMI accelerator facility. This would open up the possibility of generating positron beams with the intensity and quality of the electron beam used so far in MAMI.