A team of researchers and scientists at SLAC’s National Accelerator Laboratory has shown that a silicon crystal which is bent has the capacity to even bend routes of highly energetic and focused beams of electrons way more than the magnets that are used these days. This technique can be applied in the area of particle accelerators such as the next gen X-ray lasers which will enable scientists to uncover atomic motions and structures greater detail. Bent crystals can mostly be used for deflecting unwanted electrons that are present in the external regions of electron beams. This ensures effective peeling off of these so that only the beam’s core is left.
Research has proved it that such a thing can also be carried out with beams of high energy electrons. Beam collimation is the method used for cleaning electron beams; and it is of great importance in the case of X-ray lasers. For instance, these can be used for avoiding irradiation of, harm, and damage that are caused to the permanent magnets that help in generating X-ray light. Interestingly, bent crystals are also used for significantly tight curvatures within the electron beams: this research study calls for magnets that are 26 times better and stronger as against those that are used in the largest particle accelerator of the world, which is the Large Hadron Collider situated in CERN.
The tight bed can easily be exploited for producing intense gamma and X-rays, because electrons that get deflected have the capacity to emit light that is very intense.
Till date crystals have been used for deflecting proton beams. However, these have not been explored from the aspect of electrons. This is so, because electrons that carry negative charge get propagated via crystal lattice which is basically a 3D grid containing atomic nuclei that is positively charged.