Optics-On-A-Chip For Ultrafast Manipulation

Researchers demonstrate highly ultrafast x-ray optics-on-a-chip based on MEMS capable of modulating hard x-ray pulses exceeding 350 MHz, 103× higher than any other mechanical modulator, with a pulse purity >106 without compromising the spectral brilliance. Moreover, the timing characteristics of the devices can be tuned on-the-fly to deliver optimal pulse properties to create a host of dynamic x-ray instruments and applications, impossible with traditional optics of 109× bulkier and more massive.

This x-ray optics-on-a-chip device sets the stage for future dynamic and miniature x-ray optics for focusing, wavefront manipulation, multiwavelength dispersion, and pulse slicing, enabling their uses with lab- and hospital-scale x-ray sources and imaging facilities and the new generation of x-ray synchrotron sources.

The advent of the ultrafast optics-on-a-chip heralds a new paradigm of x-ray photonics, time-domain science, and accelerator diagnostics, especially at not only the future-generation light sources that offer coherent and high-frequency pulses but also lab-based facilities that normally do not offer timing structures.

Researchers demonstrated the ultrafast pulse-picking capability of MEMS devices at the Advanced Photon Source (APS). This high-energy and hard-x-ray synchrotron source offers multiple pulse structures in the time domain. These MEMS devices can select single x-ray pulses from all available pulse structures at APS, including the 352-MHz pulse train with the APS’s shortest pulse interval of 2.84 ns.

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