Research ArticlePHYSICS

Observation of electron-induced characteristic x-ray and bremsstrahlung radiation from a waveguide cavity

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Science Advances  22 Jan 2021:
Vol. 7, no. 4, eabd5677
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abd5677


We demonstrate x-ray generation based on direct emission of spontaneous x-rays into waveguide modes. Photons are generated by electron impact onto a structured anode target, which is formed as an x-ray waveguide or waveguide array. Both emission of characteristic radiation and bremsstrahlung are affected by the changes in mode density induced by the waveguide structure. We investigate how the excited modal pattern depends on the positions of the metal atoms and the distance of the focused electron beam with respect to the waveguide exit side. We compare the results to synchrotron-excited fluorescence. We then discuss how x-ray generation in waveguides can be used to increase the brilliance and directional emission of tabletop x-ray sources, with a corresponding increase in the spatial coherence. On the basis of the Purcell effect, we lastly show that the gain of emission into waveguide modes is governed by the quality factor of the waveguide.

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