New orbit for electrons

Energy savings and a solution to a beam orbit correction problem are the results of a recent optimization carried out as part of a project initiated by Dr. Roman Panaś of the Accelerators Department. The correction problems stemmed from suboptimal alignment of the electron beam position “centers” (so-called offsets). It turned out that the correction magnets were undergoing periodic saturation, which made it impossible to maintain the correct orbit. Optimization of the beam orbit was essential, as it indirectly affects the quality and power of synchrotron light. It took about 2 months to develop and implement the new algorithms.

Precision at the synchrotron

Synchrotrons are a large, if not the largest, research infrastructure. Despite their size and diameters that range from tens to hundreds of meters, the precision of individual components is extremely important. As with a space rocket, accuracy to the hundredth of a millimeter on a synchrotron is crucial to the operation of the entire machine. This is why the synchrotron beam optimization project was such a great challenge. At the center of the initiative were the correction magnets, which directly affect the orbit of the electrons in the circular accelerator (ring). The orbit of electrons is determined by an algorithm and corrected in the vertical and horizontal axes with an accuracy that reaches fractions of micrometers.

The correction magnets got periodically saturated

The accumulation ring, in which the electrons circulate, is made up of 12 blocks of electromagnets. These blocks are called Double-Bend Achromat (DBA) cells. A typical DBA cell consists of two bending magnets, focusing magnets, and correction magnets. It is the latter that the team of researchers led by Dr. Roman Panaś, the originator of the project, focused on.

Steering magnets are responsible for keeping circulating electrons at the correct orbit. Until now, many power supplies for the correction magnets went to maximum currents, which is called saturation (reaching values of 11 A). This caused disturbances in the proper functioning of the beam correction. When electron beam is not properly corrected, it begins to oscillate in an uncontrolled manner, and resulting in faster electron beam losses.

Read more on the SOLARIS website

A very powerful method that illuminates all research fields

Photon Factory at KEK – #LightSourceSelfie

Science is ever-evolving. This is particularly true in the world of light sources. As science, technology and computing advances are made, the machines that enable all the amazing scientific research advance too.

Kentaro Harada is an Associate Professor in the Beam dynamics and Magnets Group at KEK’s Photon Factory in Japan. As an accelerator scientist, his research is centred around magnets, power supplies, beam diagnostics and the operation of accelerators. The goals of Kentaro and his colleagues are to improve present accelerators and to design accelerators that will drive the science of the future. In his insightful #LightSourceSelfie, Kentaro says, “I think research and engineering are like the arts. The expression of uniqueness is first motivation. My goal is to do what only I can do.”

Novel protocol for mass production of nanowires

Nanotechnology is one of the major driving forces behind the technological revolution of this century and nanomaterials play a key role in this revolution. While the use of nanoparticles is widespread in industrial applications, the use of nanowires -wires with a diameter of only a few nanometres- is mostly reduced to scientific areas. The fields of biomedicine and permanent magnets would benefit from the cost-effective mass production of nanowires.

In a recent publication, researchers from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM) and various centres from the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), in collaboration with ALBA, have established a novel and sustainable synthesis protocol that allows obtaining a greater number of nanowires than conventional laboratory fabrication processes with considerably reduced production time and cost.

The goal of this project was to increase the production of metallic nanowires, reducing costs and timings to expand their applicability to industry. Due to the high costs associated with the high-purity aluminium normally used as the starting material, as well as with the low temperature and large anodization time, the commercial application of nanowires using anodized aluminium oxide is still limited by their fabrication process.

Read more on the ALBA website

Image: The CIRCE beamline (variable polarization soft X-ray beamline dedicated to advanced photoemission experiments)

Credit: ALBA