Generation of hard x rays from transition radiation using high-density foils and moderate-energy electrons
Piestrup, M. A.
Moran, M. J.
Boyers, D. G.
Pincus, C. I.
Kephart, J. O.
Gearhart, R. A.
Maruyama, X. K.
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In experiments using target consisting of many thin metal foils, we have demonstrated that a narrow, forward-directed cone of transition radiation in the 8- to 60-keV spectral range can be generated by electrons beams with moderate energies (between 100 and 500 MeV). The theory suggests that high-density, moderate-atomic-number metals are the optimum foil materials and that the foil thickness can be chosen to maximize photon production within a desired spectral range. The three targets in the experiments consisted of 10 foils of 1-um-thick gold, 40 foils of 8.5-um stainless steel, and 20 foils of 7.9-um copper. The efficiency with which hard x rays are generated, and the fact that the requisite electron-beam energies are lower by a factor of 5 to 10, make such a radiation source an attractive alternative to synchrotron radiation for applications such as medical imaging, spectroscopy, and microscopy.
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