Superconducting Helical Undulator with Superimposed Focusing Gradient for High Efficiency Tapered X-Ray FELs

Period of Performance: 02/21/2017 - 11/20/2017


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Radiabeam Technologies, LLC
1713 Stewart Street Array
Santa Monica, CA 90404
Firm POC
Principal Investigator


Free-electron lasers convert electron beam power to x-ray power with less than one percent efficiency. Recent studies have shown that a new technically challenging superconducting undulator can be used to increase free-electron laser efficiency to approximately 10%. The challenge for realizing this device is showing that current fabrication and assembly techniques can realize an undulator system of sufficient quality for the free-electron laser applications. Technical Approach RadiaBeam Technologies will collaborate with National Laboratories and Universities to develop a practical design of a novel Advanced Gradient Undulator; explore the engineering limits of the technology, and develop a set of tolerances that will meet the science and practical needs of the light source facilities. Phase I Plan In the Phase I feasibility study, a comprehensive numerical simulations will be carried out to optimize free-electron laser performance, in parallel with magnetic simulations. In addition the design and preliminary engineering of the auxiliary subsystems will be carried out for a stand- alone cryogenic superconducting undulator module. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits The principal benefactors of this technology are free-electron laser light source facilities where an underserved science community is looking to both push the performance limits of the existing light sources, and expand user access from the currently dismal 10-20% range. In addition, a novel superconducting undulator technology developed in this project, by improving the wall plug efficiency of the source by an order of magnitude, could enable new industrial applications of free electron laser technology.