Researchers are building particle accelerators that fit on a chip

In this giant accelerator, the flow of electrons flows through vacuum tubes.

Now the Researchers are building particle accelerators that fit on a chip, In this giant accelerator, the flow of electrons flows through vacuum tubes, while microwave radiation pushes particles closer to the speed of light faster and faster, creating strong rays that are used by scientists around the world to study the structure of atoms and molecules of inorganic and biological materials.

Now scientists have developed silicon chips for the first time that can accelerate electrons using infrared lasers, even at a fraction of the speed of this large instrument. microwaves need lots of legs.

The biggest accelerator is like a powerful telescope. There are several in the world and scientists must come to places like SLAC to use it.

Team members compared their approach to how computing changed from mainframes to smaller computers, but it was still useful. Chip acceleration technology can also lead to new cancer therapies. At present, medical X-ray devices fill the room and provide radiation that is difficult to focus on the tumor. Therefore, patients must wear lead protectors to minimize damage to the collateral.

To do this, they reverse the design process. With conventional accelerators such as SLAC, engineers usually design basic designs and then run simulations to physically adjust the microwave bursts to achieve the highest possible acceleration. But microwaves measure 4 inches from end to end, while infrared light has a wavelength of one tenth the width of a human hair. This difference explains why infrared light can accelerate electrons at such short distances compared to microwaves.

However, this also means that the physical properties of the chip must be 100,000 times smaller than the copper structure in conventional accelerators. This requires a new approach to engineering based on integrated photonic and silicon lithography.

The design algorithm has produced a chip layout that is almost different. Imagine nano-sized tissue separated by a silicon channel. The electrons flowing through the channel release a series of silicon wires that flow through the canyon wall in strategic locations. Each time the laser pulse passes 100,000 times per second, the photon impacts the sequence of electrons and speeds it forward.

The researchers want to accelerate electrons to 94 percent of the speed of light or 1 million electron volts (1 MeV) to produce a flow of particles strong enough for research or medical purposes. This prototype chip has only one stage of acceleration, and the flow of electrons must pass about 1000 of these stages to reach 1 MeV.

The researchers plan to combine thousands of levels of acceleration in about 1 inch of chip space by the end of 2020 to reach their 1 MeV target. Although this will be an important milestone, the performance of such devices will still deteriorate along with the ability of SLAC research accelerators, which can produce energy levels 30,000 times higher than 1 MeV.

Until the development of the 1 MeV chip accelerator, development of possible applications for combating cancer had begun. High-energy electrons are no longer used for radiation therapy because they will burn the skin.

The team channeled high-energy electrons from chip-size accelerators through vacuum tubes such as catheters that can be placed under the skin with particle rays right next to the tumor to conduct radiation therapy surgically.


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