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CHARACTERIZING THE ELECTRON BEAM FOR THE APS LEUTL

FREE ELECTRON LASER

G. TRAVISH, J. LEWELLEN AND M. HAHNE


Advanced Photon Source, Argonne National Laboratory. Argonne, IL 60439 USA

1 Abstract

The Advanced Photon Source (APS) Low-Energy Undulator Test Line (LEUTL) project was
originally intended to test and characterize advanced undulator designs via electron beam-
based diagnostics technique. It is presently being used to conduct free electron laser (FEL)
research for a future fourth-generation light source. The APS injector linac has been upgraded
to deliver a beam suitable for these FEL tests. The project has as an initial goal the operation
of a self amplified spontaneous emission (SASE) device operating in the visible at 530 nm
(green light). The visible FEL requires a 217 MeV moderately high brightness beam with a
peak current of 100 A or greater, a normalized rms emittance of 5 µm or less, and an energy
spread of 0.1% or better. Beam characterization is fundamental to being able to match
experimental results with theoretical models. This paper describes the LEUTL FEL, lists the
major goals, the beam diagnostics, and presents the initial electron beam measured properties.
Future plans are also discussed.

2 Overview

The Low-Energy Undulator Test Line (LEUTL) self-amplified spontaneous


emission (SASE) free electron laser (FEL) project has as its primary goal the
identification and study of issues relevant to linac-based fourth-generation x-ray
light sources. This includes verifying the behavior of the SASE FEL with varying
electron beam parameters. Therefore, good characterization and control of the
electron beam is critical to the success of the project.
The LEUTL project has taken a conservative approach towards producing a
drive beam for the SASE FEL. The Accelerator Test Facility (ATF) at Brookhaven
National Laboratory (BNL) has provided a 1.6-cell S-band rf photocathode gun and
emittance compensation solenoid, which has been placed at the near-optimal drift
distance from the entrance to the APS injector linac. This gun design has been well
characterized and proven in several installations around the world.
The drive laser for the photocathode gun was purchased commercially. A
Time-Bandwidth GLX-1000 Nd:Glass oscillator produces 200 fs pulses at
119 MHz. A custom built flashlamp-pumped amplifier from Positive Light is used
to amplify a single laser pulse and frequency-quadruple it to 263 nm. An optical

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transport line then takes the pulse either into the APS linac enclosure, or into an rf
test area adjacent to the laser room.
The APS injector linac is constructed from standard SLAC-type travelling
wave disk loaded linac sections. One linac section immediately following the gun is
powered by a single klystron; the remaining twelve linac sections are grouped into
three sectors, each of which is powered by a single klystron equipped with SLED
cavities. A thermionic-cathode rf gun is used to provide beam to the linac for filling
the storage ring, and a second thermionic-cathode rf gun provides backup injection
capability.
The APS linac and LEUTL transport lines contain several energy
spectrometers, a three-screen emittance measurement region, and several metal foils
for providing light to OTR and CTR diagnostics. The undulator hall proper contains
additional diagnostics stations for both the electron beam, and the photon beam
generated by the FEL interaction. Figure 2-1 shows an overview of the entire
LEUTL system, including the linac and undulator halls.

Figure 2-1 An aerial photograph showing the APS storage ring with the linac and bypass lines buildings
in the center. The LEUTL undulator hall is shown during construction in the center left. The lower image
is a cartoon of the LEUTL system.

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The LEUTL system is not intended at this time to pursue ultra-high brightness
electron beam research; rather, the goals chosen for the LEUTL SASE FEL are such
that a moderately bright electron beam is adequate. As is illustrated in Figure 2-2,
for the LEUTL project to achieve saturation with the current undulator
configuration, our beam properties must lie within the gray region. We can therefore
achieve saturation with beam properties that, for a photocathode rf gun, are quite
modest. In order to properly characterize the FEL process, however, we do need
good measurements of both the basic beam properties, such as emittance and energy
spread, and beam propagation, such as Twiss parameters and trajectory errors.

2.0
ε=1
ε=3
ε=5
1.5 ε=10
Thermionic Gun
ε=15
Gain Length [m]

1.0 Photocathode Gun


Saturation

0.5
Region

0.0
0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350
Peak Current [A]

Figure 2-2 Results of a simple 3D semi-analytic FEL spreadsheet are plotted as gain length versus peak
current for a set of emittances.

3 Project Goals

The LEUTL project has, as its primary goal, the study of physics and technology of
relevance to future linac-based fourth-generation light sources. In support of this
goal, the LEUTL FEL will be operated in high-gain SASE mode, generating light
from 530 nm down to 120 nm.
A principal portion of the studies will be devoted to experimental verification
of scaling laws derived from SASE FEL theory, such as the variation of output

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power with beam parameter changes. Theoretical comparison requires both high-
resolution beam characterization and good beam stability over long time scales.
The technical development program will focus on other aspects of accelerator
technology anticipated to be useful for future light-source construction. As an
example, a magnetic bunch compression system is being installed into the linac with
parameters similar to the BC-1 compressor in the LCLS design. The LEUTL
compressor will allow for the study of the onset of coherent synchrotron radiation
and other effects as the compression is varied. The bunch compressor will also be
used along with the LEUTL SASE FEL to verify the theoretical tradeoffs between
high peak currents and emittance.
Finally, the LEUTL project will explore alternate methods of improving light-
source performance at shorter wavelengths than have been achieved before.
Examples include high-harmonic generation, regenerative-amplifier configurations,
ultrashort bunch generation, and alternate undulator designs.

4 Design Parameters

The necessary electron beam parameters are straight forward to calculate from the
undulator specifications and the desired FEL characteristics. Following the
conservative approach described in the previous section, the demands on the
electron beam were kept to within state of the art, at least for the initial phases of the
project.
Table 4-1 summarizes the initial design parameters for the electron beam.
Table 4-1: The initial design beam parameters for the LEUTL FEL.

Parameter Value
Energy 217 MeV
Energy Spread (rms) < 0.1%
Charge 1 nC
Bunch Length (FWHM) 5 –7 ps
Peak Current 150 A
Emittance 5 µm
(normalized rms)

The LEUTL project calls for operating at successively shorter wavelengths by


increasing the beam energy and beam brightness. Table 4-2 lists four possible stages
of FEL operation as well as the corresponding beam emittance and current required.
Note that even at the short wavelengths, the required beam parameters are within
state of the art.
Table 4-2: Four possible stages of LEUTL FEL operation at three wavelengths with successively higher
energy and brighter beams.

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Energy [MeV] and
Wavelength [nm]
217 457 457 700
530 120 120 51
Emittance [mm-mrad] 5 5 3 3
Current [A] 150 150 300 300
Gain Length [m] 0.64 1.6 0.72 1.2
Saturation [m] 13.8 31 15 24

5 Laser Details

Oscillator
Wavelength 1053 nm (Nd:Glass)
Pulse Length 200 fs
Avg. Power ~80 mW
Timing Stability ~1/3 ps

Amplifier
Repetition Rate 6 Hz

Pulse Energy 9 mJ
Lamp Pump Power (x2) 36 J
Shot-to-shot jitter ±5%

Compressor
Efficiency 42%
Output energy <4 mJ
Pulse length (SSA) 2-6 ps

UV
Conversion efficiency <10%
Energy <500 µJ
Energy Jitter (saturated) ±5%
Phase Stability (streak) < 1.5 ps
Pointing jitter @ Cathode < 0.3 %

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6 Injector Design Details

Laser
Repetition Rate 6 Hz
UV Pulse Energy 500 µJ
UV Pulse Length 2 – 10 ps
Pulse shape Tri-gaussian
Injection On-axis

Gun
Type 1.6 cell SLAC/UCLA/BNL
Cathode Copper
Accelerating Gradient 120 MV/m (peak)
Bunch Charge 1 nC
Peak Current 200 A
Emittance < 5 mm-mrad

Injector Diagnostics
Charge ICT
Beam Profile YAG + camera
Beam Position BPM

7 Laser Issues

S-band RF photoinjector drive lasers are not readily available in the commercial
market. Apparently, there are few applications for intense lasers in the few
picosecond regime, as opposed to the many picosecond and femtosecond range.
Stretched Ti:Saph lasers may soon economically fulfill the requirements of
photoinjectors. In the recent past, however, drive lasers were either “home made” or
custom products. The LEUTL drive laser is a custom system, and as such, suffers
from a set of technical and engineering problems not generally found on mass
produced systems.

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For beam production, the UV spot quality, pulse energy and jitter, and pulse
length and jitter are of primary concern. The LEUTL drive laser does not currently
use spatial filtering or any profile shaping. Thus, the spot that strikes the cathode
closely follows from what the laser and nonlinear crystals produce. Presently, the
green (527 nm) spot appears to be a uniform gaussian, however, the UV spot has
spatial structure. The poor UV spot quality can be attributed to the nonlinear crystal,
and a replacement has been ordered. The electron beam has likely been degraded by
the poor transverse laser quality. Not only does the beam emittance increase, but the
pulse lengthening due to space charge is likely to be more pronounced due to the
nonuniform cathode illumination.
Jitter and drift of the laser intensity can hamper electron beam tune up
procedures. Shot to shot laser fluctuations cause large changes in the electron beam
charge, and hence in the shot-to-shot electron beam characteristics along the linac.
Some diagnostics, such as the emittance profiler, rely on averaging multiple shots to
calculate a value. Beam charge jitter introduces both an uncertainty as well as an
overestimate of the measured property. The LEUTL drive laser is usually operated
with the nonlinear crystals saturated to reduce intensity fluctuations. In fact, a rms
jitter of 5% in UV energy is usually achieved. Improvements beyond this level will
require considerable effort and would likely involve upgrading the regenerative
amplifier.
Laser intensity drift, usually caused by thermal effects, also hampers beam
operation. As the laser intensity drifts, the linac must be retuned. Fortunately, the
laser drift is negligible after thermalization (about 2 hours). What drift may occur
after thermalization can usually be corrected easily. While LEUTL can tolerate
occasional retuning of the laser, a fourth generation light source could not. As such,
feedback systems may be implemented in the near future.
Finally, operating the laser with repeatable characteristics from run to run
requires suitable diagnostics. Quantifying the transverse spot quality is not trivial; it
is not even clear what “basis set” one should use to decompose the nonuniformities.
One device that has been in use on lasers is the M2 (M-squared) diagnostic,
essentially an emittance measurement. LEUTL is considering using an M2
measurement to quantify changes in the laser from run to run. However, the M2
measurement is not single shot and will therefore suffer from the same problems as
an electron beam emittance measurement.

8 Injector Issues

Having followed a conservative and proven approach with the photoinjector, it was
originally thought that the moderately high brightness beams required for LEUTL
would be straightforward to produce. However, due to the inherent sensitivity of the
photoinjector to the solenoid field, laser spot size, input rf, etc., it became clear that
simply duplicating past efforts was insufficient. Indeed, a number of constraints
specific to LEUTL implied that a suitable operating regime would have to be

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studied. Finding a good operating point for the photoinjector has been complicated
by the need to traverse a number of accelerator sections before reaching a complete
set of diagnostics. The following are some of the major issues that limited beam
quality during the runs presented in this paper:
• Low gradient: Due to a previously installed directional coupler in the
waveguide system that powers the gun, the RF power and hence the peak
accelerating field was limited to about 100 MV/m. Since the data for this paper has
been taken, the waveguide system has been reworked and the rf system should
support operation at the design 140 MV/m on-axis gradient. Space charge and
attendant effects should be reduced by the higher gradients.
• Cathode nonuniformity: While scanning the laser across the cathode surface,
it was observed that some structure, as projected by the beam onto a YAG screen,
remained stationary. These observations imply that the structure arose from some
nonuniformity of the cathode, not the laser. The beam and imaging system were
eliminated as a source of the problem by sweeping the beam back and forth with a
steering magnet. No immediate fix is planned for the cathode as the risk to the gun
is too great and the performance gain has not been determined.
• Wakefields: Proper compensation of the wakefield is critical to propagating
the beam through the long linac. Compensation involves finding the correct
trajectory through the linac. During the runs presented here, wakefield
compensation was used however the jitter and drifts in the various systems meant
that the wakefields were only partially compensated and for only a portion of the
shots. In addition to the above challenges, it is felt that the first linac section (right
after the gun) has a defect that makes in impossible to find a compensated
trajectory.

9 Diagnostics

The APS LEUTL currently incorporates many diagnostics for determining various
beam parameters throughout the system.
The drive laser diagnostics measure pulse energy, spot size, and pulse length on
a shot-to-shot basis. A Single Shot Autocorrelator (SSA) measures the laser pulse
length with a resolution of better than 100 fs, and an total system accuracy of
perhaps 20% (since the pulse profile is a necessary assumption).There is also a
Pyrometer used to measure the laser beam energy with a resolution of better than
1 µJ (out of 500), and a system accuracy of about 5% which includes calibration
errors of the detector, beam splitter, and electronics. Finally, a CCD camera is used
to measure beam spot size with an approximate resolution and accuracy of 100 µm.
Improvements in the optical resolution of the transverse spot diagnostic are in the
works.
A host of electron beam diagnostics are used both for operational tasks (tuning
the beam) as well as quantitative measurements. The diagnostics used for

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characterizing the LEUTL beam are described below in roughly the order they
appear on the beamline:
An Integrating Current Transformer (ICT), located just after the photo-cathode
gun (PC Gun), measures beam charge; resolution is better than 10 pC, and accuracy
is estimated to be 10% at nominal charges (1 nC).
YAG screens with CID cameras are located after the PC Gun and at a few
points along the accelerator. The screens are used to determine beam size, with an
approximate resolution and accuracy of 50µm (neglecting the recently announced
saturation effects).
Bending magnets located in linac sections L3 (midway) & L5 (at the end of the
linac) are used for determining beam energy and energy spread at 175MeV and
225MeV, accordingly. Additional bend spectrometers are installed midway in the
long transport line between the linac and undulators, as well as after the undulators.
Bunch length measurements can be made in one of three ways. One method
uses OTR from an insertable mirror which is transported to a streak camera with a
resolution of about 1 ps. Bunch length is also measured using the last accelerating
section (L5) and the so-called zero phasing technique. Finally, an optical high
resolution spectrometer applied to the FEL output has been used to indirectly obtain
the bunch length.
Emittance measurements are primarily made using a three screen arrangement,
with drift spaces between the screens. The three screen system is accurate, helps
with betafunction matching, and does not suffer from space charge effects. A
software utility automates the entire process. Presently the system uses YAG
screens, but OTR mirrors may be employed in the near future. While it is difficult to
estimate the accuracy of the system, a resolution of better than 1 µm in emittance is
possible.
The above diagnostics were the primary tools used to characterize the beam. In
addition, fluorescent (chromox) screens, and CID cameras are placed along the
linac/LEUTL line. These are used in conjunction with an digitizing image analysis
system to measure the beam's position and transverse profile. Finally, Beam
Position Monitors (BPM's) provide beam trajectory information.

10 Measured Performance

Concurrent measurements
Un-optimized conditions for FEL operation

Parameter Value Diagnostic


Charge 0.5 nC ICT
Energy 217 MeV Bend magnets

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Energy Spread (_) < 0.1% Bend magnets
Bunch Length (FWHM) 5 –7 ps OTR Streak
Emittance < 4 mm-mrad 3 screen
(normalized rms)

11 Jitter and Stability

11.1 Laser
Laser Parameter Requirement Measurement
Pulse Energy ±5% ±5% / ±10%
Pointing Stability < 100 µm
Spot Size on Cathode < 100 µm
Pulse Length ±5%
Phase Synchronization 1° <1°

11.2 Gun
Gun Parameter Requirement Measurement
Charge ±5% ±5% / ±10%
Bunch Length ±5%
Solenoid 2%
RF Phase ±1° ±3°
RF Power 0.1% <1%

12 Next Steps

The characterization of the LEUTL electron beam will continue with improved
diagnostics, and hopefully improved beam quality. Driven by the dictates of the
FEL and by work of interest to future fourth generation light sources, the LEUTL
photoinjector will be driven to produce lower emittance beams with higher peak
currents. The increase in accelerating gradient of the gun should produce marked

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beam quality improvements. A magnetic bunch compressor will also be installed
and commissioned in the near future to further increase the peak current.
By reducing the jitter and drift of the various support systems (rf, power
supplies, laser, etc.), a more optimal operating regime should be found.
Improvements to the emittance diagnostic have already been made that should allow
resolution down to 1 µm beam emittances. An improved resolution energy
spectrometer is also being designed.
Longer term improvements being considered include the following:
• Improve the master clock used by the laser and rf for better phase stability.
• Laser pulse shaping: spatial filtering of the UV with the possibility of
producing a transverse “flat top” profile.
• Redesign the injector section by replacing the first accelerator section.
• Reworking the RF to power the Gun and first Linac section from one
klystron
While the initial goal of the LEUTL FEL is to lase and saturate, the primary goal is
to understand the FEL SASE process. In as much, characterizing the input electron
beam will continue to be paramount.

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