Topical review on crystal-based intensive gamma-ray light sources

October 01, 2020

A topical review [1] by Andrei Korol and Andrey V. Solov'yov published in the European Physical Journal D discusses the design and practical realization of novel gamma-ray crystal-based Light Sources that can be constructed through the exposure of oriented crystals (linear, bent, and periodically bent) to beams of ultra-relativistic charged particles. Crystal-based Light Sources can generate radiation in the photon energy range where the technologies based on the fields of permanent magnets (such as free-electron lasers) become inefficient or incapable.

Construction of novel crystal-based Light Sources is a challenging task that constitutes a highly interdisciplinary field entangling a broad range of correlated activities. This interdisciplinary research field combines theory, computational modeling, beam manipulation, design, manufacture and experimental verification of high-quality crystalline samples and subsequent characterization of their emitted radiation as novel light sources. These activities are within the scope of the collaborative European project "Novel Light Sources: Theory and Experiment" (N-LIGHT), currently running within the Horizon 2020 framework.

The size and cost of Crystal-based Light Sources are orders of magnitude less than that of modern light sources based on permanent magnets. This opens many practical possibilities for the efficient generation of gamma-rays with various intensities and energies by means of the existing and to-be-constructed beamlines.

When developed, Crystal-based Light Sources will have many applications in basic sciences, technology and medicine. They could be used for disposing of nuclear waste, nuclear medicine, production of rare isotopes, photo-induced nuclear reactions, medical applications, non-destructive imaging of complex molecular systems with the resolution allowing detection of positions of the nuclei, and gamma-ray material diagnostics.

For further details see
[1] A.V. Korol and A.V. Solov’yov, Crystal-based intensive gamma-ray light sources, Eur. Phys. J. D 74 (2020) 201