Design and Fabrication of Three-Dimensional Photonic Crystal Accelerator Structures
Optical-scale photonic crystal waveguides have great potential for future high-energy colliders, due to their ability to sustain high field gradients with low loss. As sources, these waveguides use near-infrared lasers that are powerful, efficient, and commercially available. Through simulation, this structure has been shown to meet several requirements of an accelerator: an accelerating gradient an order of magnitude greater than existing technology, high optical-to-beam efficiency, and a method of stable transverse particle beam confinement. In addition, the structure was designed from the outset to be amenable to lithographic fabrication, in order to take advantage of micro-fabrication technology from the integrated circuit industry. Thus, this structure has the potential to be the basis for an accelerator system in which the various components are integrated in a single monolithic device Â¿ an Â¿accelerator on a chip.Â¿ However, several critical improvements are necessary to achieve this goal, including development of compact power couplers and a method to account for fabrication error. This project will address these issues through (1) a high-performance simulation, and (2) a systematic study of fabrication effects. Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee: Optical accelerator structures hold promise not only for high-energy colliders but also as diagnostics for x-ray light sources. The design of miniature power couplers should be applicable to photonic integrated circuits. The systematic study of microfabrication error could ease the challenging development cycle for photonic components.
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