MIT inverse Compton source concept

W. S. Graves, W. Brown, F. X. Kaertner, D. E. Moncton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


A compact X-ray source based on inverse Compton scattering of a high-power laser on a high-brightness linac beam is described. The facility can operate in two modes: at high (MHz) repetition rate with flux and brilliance similar to that of a beamline at a large 2nd generation synchrotron, but with short ∼1 ps pulses, or as a 10 Hz high flux-per-pulse single-shot machine. It has a small footprint and low cost appropriate for university or industry laboratories. The key enabling technologies are a high average power laser and a superconducting accelerator. The cryo-cooled Yb:YAG laser amplifier generates ∼1 kW average power at 1 μm wavelength that pumps a coherent cavity up to 1 MW stored power. The high-brightness electron beam is produced by a superconducting RF photoinjector and linac operating in CW mode with up to 1 mA current. The photocathode laser produces electron pulses at either 100 MHz with 10 pc per bunch, or at 10 Hz with 1 nC per bunch in the two operating modes. The design of the facility is presented, including optimization of the laser and electron beams, major technical choices, and the resulting X-ray performance with a focus on the 100 MHz mode.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S103-S105
JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment
Issue number1 SUPPL.
StatePublished - Sep 1 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Compact light source
  • Cryogenic
  • High-power laser
  • Inverse Compton
  • Linac
  • Superconducting RF
  • X-ray source

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Instrumentation


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