Analysis of Femtosecond Electron Bunches at the SwissFEL Injector Test Facility

The SwissFEL (Swiss Free Electron Laser) is a free electron laser which is being built at the Paul Scherrer Institute. The SwissFEL will be a user facility to study processes on unexplored scales of space and time. In order to achieve these aims, X-ray pulses on the order of femtoseconds must be generated. For such short X-ray pulses, the electron bunch length must be comparable to the final X-ray pulse length. In order to achieve such a short electron bunch length, it must be monitored at every compression stage. This work proposes two novel methods to measure such electron bunches, namely a novel spectral method that analyses the frequency content of electron bunches that becomes easier with shorter bunch length and a transverse deflecting cavity method which can conceptually measure a zero bunch length. Because the SwissFEL was not built at the time of the PhD, all experiments were performed at the SwissFEL Injector Test Facility (SITF). The SITF is a 200 MeV test bed linear electron accelerator. Theoretically the bunch length is limited due to the uncorrelated energy spread and the higher order components of the bunch compressor. However, due to the limited electron energy in combination with the short electron bunches, space charge effects dominate the beam in the transverse phase space as well as in the longitudinal phase space. A transverse deflecting cavity (TDC) measurement was used to measure a reference bunch length to which the spectral fluctuations could be correlated. In a TDC the electric fields are oriented perpendicular to the beam direction and streaks the head and tail in opposite directions onto a screen. In a conventional TDC measurement, the projected beam size onto the temporal axis is the current profile, provided that the intrinsic beam size is small. However, in the SITF the intrinsic beam size was large due to the aforementioned space charge effects. This led to the development of a novel bunch length analysis method in a space charge dominated beam. In the proposed analysis method, a dispersive section in combination with a TDC was used to visualise the longitudinal phase space. The longitudinal phase space was sliced in the momentum domain to reveal the difference between the intrinsic and the streaked beam in a momentum slice. The bunch length could be extracted by recording the times for all slices. Both the simulations and experiments suggest the method enables the measurement of bunch length in a space charge dominated beam in which the transverse intrinsic beam size is large. The measured minimal bunch length from simulations and experiments are of the same order, 19.5 fs to 24.5 fs, respectively. Since the TDC at PSI has a specified resolution of 20 fs at 200 pC, this method may be used to reduce the resolution. The spectral content of femtosecond electron bunches contains electron bunch length information. As an electron beam collides with an optical transition radiation (OTR) foil, radiation is emitted. The radiation is collected by means of a mirror setup into an optical fibre and into an optical spectrometer. The spectral range of the spectrometer is 316 THz (950 nm) to 1364 THz (220 nm). From OTR theory a flat OTR spectrum was expected and measured. As the electron bunch length was reduced below 70 fs, periodic fluctuations started to appear on the spectra. These fluctuations broaden with decreasing bunch length and show a good agreement with the bunch length measured with the TDC.

Rivkin, Leonid
Ischebeck, Rasmus
Lausanne, EPFL
Other identifiers:
urn: urn:nbn:ch:bel-epfl-thesis6570-9

 Record created 2015-04-08, last modified 2018-03-17

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