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Towards compact and advanced Free Electron Laser

Abstract : X-ray Free Electron Lasers (FEL) are nowadays unique intense coherent fs light sources used for multi-disciplinary investigations of matter. A new acceleration scheme such as Laser Plasma Accelerator (LPA) is now capable of producing an accelerating gradient of few GeV/cm far superior to that of conventional RF linacs. This PhD work has been conducted in the framework of R&D programs of the LUNEX5 (free electron Laser Using a New accelerator for the Exploitation of X-ray radiation of 5th generation) project of advanced and compact Free Electron laser demonstrator with pilot user applications. It comprises a 400 MeV superconducting linac for studies of advanced FEL schemes, high repetition rate operation (10 kHz), multi-FEL lines, a Laser Wake Field Accelerator (LWFA) for its qualification by a FEL application. The FEL lines comports enables advanced seeding in the 40-4 nm spectral range using high gain harmonic generation (HGHG) and echo-enabled harmonic generation (EEHG) with compact short period high field cryogenic undulators. The study of compact devices suitable for compact FEL applications is thus examined. One first aspect concerns the reduction of the Free Electron Laser gain medium (electrons in undulator) where shortening of the period is on the expense of the magnetic field leading to an intensity reduction at high harmonics. Compact cryogenic permanent magnet based undulators (CPMUs), where the magnet performance is increased at cryogenic temperature making them suitable for compact applications, are studied. Three CPMUs of period 18 mm have been built: two are installed at SOLEIL storage ring and one at COXINEL experiment. A second part of the work is developed in the frame of the R&D programs is the COXINEL experiment with an aim at demonstrating FEL amplification using an LPA source. The line enables to manipulate the properties of the produced electron beams (as energy spread, divergence, induced dispersion due) before being used for light source applications. The electron beam generated is highly divergent and requires a good handling at an early stage with strong quadrupoles, to be installed immediately after the electron generation source. Hence, the development of the so-called QUAPEVAs, innovative permanent magnet quadrupoles with high tunable gradient, is presented. The QUAPEVAs are optimized with RADIA code and characterized with three magnetic measurements. High tunable gradient is achieved while maintaining a rather good magnetic center excursion that allowed for beam pointing alignment compensation at COXINEL, where the beam is well-focused with zero dispersion at any location along the line. The QUAPEVAs constitute original systems in the landscape of variable high gradient quadrupoles developed so far. A third part of the work concerns the observation of tunable monochromatic undulator radiation on the COXINEL line. The electron beam of energy of 170 MeV is transported and focused in a 2-m long CPMU with a period of 18 mm emitting radiation light at 200 nm. The spectral flux is characterized using a UV spectrometer and the angular flux is captured by a CCD camera. The wavelength is tuned with the undulator gap variation. The spatio-spectral moon shape type pattern of the undulator radiation provided an insight on the electron beam quality and its transport enabling the estimation of the electron beam parameters such as energy spread and divergence. The final aspect of the work is related to the comparison between the echo and high gain harmonic generation, in the frame of my participation to an experiment carried out at FERMI@ELETTRA. At FERMI, we have demonstrated a high gain lasing using EEHG at a wavelength of 5.9 nm where it showed a narrower spectra and better reproducibility compared to a two-stage HGHG. This PhD work constitutes a step forward towards advanced compact Free Electron Lasers.
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Amin Ghaith. Towards compact and advanced Free Electron Laser. Accelerator Physics [physics.acc-ph]. Université Paris-Saclay, 2019. English. ⟨NNT : 2019SACLS333⟩. ⟨tel-02375533⟩

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