Dr. Kai Sven Schulze
Abstract: In recent years, high-precision x-ray polarimeters have become a key method for the investigation of fundamental physical questions from solid-state physics to quantum optics. Here, we report on the verification of a polarization purity of better than 8×10−11 at an x-ray free-electron laser, which implies a suppression of the incoming photons to the noise level in the crossed polarizer setting. This purity provides exceptional sensitivity to tiny polarization changes and offers intriguing perspectives for fundamental tests of quantum electrodynamics.
Abstract: We study the perspectives of measuring the phenomenon of vacuum birefringence predicted by quantum electrodynamics using an x-ray free-electron laser (XFEL) alone. We devise an experimental scheme allowing two consecutive XFEL pulses to collide under a finite angle, and thus act as both pump and probe field for the effect. The signature of vacuum birefringence is encoded in polarization-flipped signal photons to be detected with high-purity x-ray polarimetry. Our findings for idealized scenarios underline that the discovery potential of solely XFEL-based setups can be comparable to those involving optical high-intensity lasers. For currently achievable scenarios, we identify several key details of the x-ray optical ingredients that exert a strong influence on the magnitude of the desired signatures.
Abstract: This work presents the improvements in the design and testing of polarimeters based on channel-cut crystals for nuclear resonant scattering experiments at the 14.4 keV resonance of Fe-57. By using four asymmetric reflections at asymmetry angles of alpha(1) = -28 degrees, alpha(2) = 28 degrees, alpha(3) = -28 degrees and alpha(4) = 28 degrees, the degree of polarization purity could be improved to 2.2 x 10(-9). For users, an advanced polarimeter without beam offset is now available at beamline P01 of the storage ring PETRA III.
Abstract: Dichroism is one of the most important optical effects in both the visible and the X-ray range. Besides absorption, scattering can also contribute to dichroism. This paper demonstrates that, based on the example of polyimide, materials can show tiny dichroism even far from electronic resonances due to scattering. Although the effect is small, it can lead to a measurable polarization change and might have influence on highly sensitive polarimetric experiments.
Abstract: High-brilliance synchrotron radiation sources have opened new avenues for x-ray polarization analysis that go far beyond conventional polarimetry in the optical domain. With linear x-ray polarizers in a crossed setting, polarization extinction ratios down to 10⁻¹⁰ can be achieved. This renders the method sensitive to probe the tiniest optical anisotropies that would occur, for example, in strong-field quantum electrodynamics due to vacuum birefringence and dichroism. Here we show that high-purity polarimetry can be employed to reveal electronic anisotropies in condensed matter systems with utmost sensitivity and spectral resolution. Taking CuO and La₂CuO₄ as benchmark systems, we present a full characterization of the polarization changes across the Cu K-absorption edge and their separation into dichroic and birefringent contributions. At diffraction-limited synchrotron radiation sources and x-ray lasers, where polarization extinction ratios of 10⁻¹² can be achieved, our method has the potential to assess birefringence and dichroism of the quantum vacuum in extreme electromagnetic fields.
Abstract: We report on the development of a highly sensitive imaging polarimeter that allows for the investigation of polarization changing properties of materials in the x-ray regime. By combining a microfocus rotating anode, collimating multilayer mirrors, and two germanium polarizer crystals, we achieved a polarization purity of the two orthogonal linear polarization states of 8 × 10−8. This enables the detection of an ellipticity on the same order or a rotation of the polarization plane of 6 arcsec. The high sensitivity combined with the imaging techniques allows us to study the microcrystalline structure of materials. As an example, we investigated beryllium sheets of different grades, which are commonly used for fabricating x-ray lenses, with a spatial resolution of 200 μm, and observed a strong degradation of the polarization purity due to the polycrystalline nature of beryllium. This makes x-ray lenses made of beryllium unsuitable for imaging polarimeter with higher spatial resolution. The results are important for the development of x-ray optical instruments that combine high spatial resolution and high sensitivity to polarization.
Abstract: We report on the use of synthetic single-crystal diamonds for high definition x-ray polarimetry. The diamonds are precision mounted to form artificial channel-cut crystals (ACCs). Each ACC supports four consecutive reflections with a scattering angle 2ΘB of 90°. We achieved a polarization purity of 3.0×10−10 at beamline ID18 of the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF). When the x-ray beam's horizontal divergence was reduced through additional collimation from 17 to 8.4μrad, the polarization purity improved to 1.4×10−10. Precision x-ray polarimetry thus has reached the limit, where the purity is determined by the divergence of the beam. In particular, this result is important for polarimetry at fourth generation x-ray sources, which provide diffraction-limited x-ray beams. The sensitivity expected as a consequence of the present work will pave the way for exploring new physics such as the investigation of vacuum birefringence.
Abstract: We present a measurement of K‐shell transitions in H‐like gold (Au78+) using specially developed transmission type crystal spectrometers combined with Ge(i) microstrip detectors. The experiment has been carried out at the Experimental Storage Ring at GSI in Darmstadt. This is a first high‐resolution wavelength‐dispersive measurement of a K‐shell transition in a high‐Z H‐like ion, thus representing an important milestone in this field. Ideas on possible future improvements are discussed as well.
Abstract: For a few years, x-ray polarimeters have been discussed and even used as a key method for the investigation of fundamental physical questions, from quantum electrodynamics to solid state physics. However, the sensitivity of optical instruments is limited. In the case of x-ray polarimeters, this limitation is connected with the polarization purity. This article quantifies two fundamental effects which lead to a limited polarization purity and, thus, to a limited sensitivity: the divergence of the source and multiple-wave diffraction inside the polarizer crystals. A comparison shows that the current best polarization purities realized in the x-ray range are limited by these effects. The quantitative knowledge of their influence, however, can improve the purity by two orders of magnitude in future polarimetric experiments.
Abstract: Accurate spectroscopy of highly-charged high-Z ions in a storage ring is demonstrated to be feasible by the use of specially adapted crystal optics. The method has been applied for the measurement of the is Lamb shift in hydrogen-like gold (Au78+) in a storage ring through spectroscopy of the Lyman x-rays. This measurement represents the first result obtained for a high-Z element using high-resolution wavelength-dispersive spectroscopy in the hard x-ray regime, paving the way for sensitivity to higher-order QED effects.
Abstract: Reciprocity is when wave or quantum scattering satisfies a symmetry property, connecting a scattering process with the reversed one. While reciprocity involves the interchange of source and detector, it is fundamentally different from rotational invariance, and is a generalization of time reversal invariance, occurring in absorptive media as well. Due to its presence at diverse areas of physics, it admits a wide variety of applications. For polarization dependent scatterings, reciprocity is often violated, but violation in the phase of the scattering amplitude is much harder to experimentally observe than violation in magnitude. Enabled by the advantageous properties of nuclear resonance scattering of synchrotron radiation, we have measured maximal, i.e., 180-degree, reciprocity violation in the phase. For accessing phase information, we introduced a new version of stroboscopic detection. The scattering setting was devised based on a generalized reciprocity theorem that opens the way to construct new types of reciprocity related devices.
Abstract: We report on the use of synthetic single-crystal diamonds for high purity x-ray polarimetry to improve the polarization purity of present-day x-ray polarimeters. The polarimeter setup consists of a polarizer and an analyzer, each based on two parallel diamond crystals used at a Bragg angle close to 45°. The experiment was performed using one (400) Bragg reflection on each diamond crystal and synchrotron undulator radiation at an x-ray energy of 9838.75 eV. A polarization purity of 8.9 × 10−10 was measured at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, which is the best value reported for two-reflection polarizer/analyzer setups. This result is encouraging and is a first step to improve the resolution of x-ray polarimeters further by using diamond crystal polarizers and analyzers with four or six consecutive reflections.
Abstract: The advent of third-generation synchrotron radiation sources and X-ray free-electron lasers has opened up the opportunity to perform quantum optical experiments with high-energy X-rays. The prime atomic system for experiments in this energy range is the strongly nuclear resonant 57Fe Mössbauer isotope. Experiments have included measurements of the collective Lamb shift, observation of electromagnetically induced transparency, subluminal propagation of X-rays and spontaneously generated coherences. In these experiments, however, the nuclei were only weakly coupled to the light field. Collective strong coupling of nuclei and X-rays, which is desirable for many quantum optical applications, has eluded researchers so far. Here, we observe collective strong coupling between X-rays and matter excitations in a periodic array of alternating 57Fe and 56Fe layers. Our experiment extends the range of methods for X-ray quantum optics and paves the way for the observation and exploitation of strong-coupling-related phenomena at X-ray energies.
Abstract: An analysis of an electron spectrometer used to characterize fast electrons generated by ultraintense (10^20 Wcm^−2) laser interaction with a preformed plasma of scale length measured by shadowgraphy is presented. The effects of fringing magnetic fields on the electron spectral measurements and the accuracy of density scale-length measurements are evaluated. 2D EPOCH PIC code simulations are found to be in agreement with measurements of the electron energy spectra showing that laser filamentation in plasma preformed by a prepulse is important with longer plasma scale lengths (>8 μm).
Abstract: The spectrum of the undulator radiation of beamline P01 at Petra III has been measured after passing a multiple reflection channel-cut polarimeter. Odd and even harmonics up to the 15th order, as well as Compton peaks which were produced by the high harmonics in the spectrum, could been measured. These additional contributions can have a tremendous influence on the performance of the polarimeter and have to be taken into account for further polarimeter designs.
Abstract: The experimental investigation of quantum-electrodydamic contributions to the binding energies of inner shells of highly charged heavy ions requires an accurate spectroscopy in the region of hard x-rays suitable at a limited source strength. For this purpose the focusing compensated asymmetric Laue crystal optics has been developed and a twin-spectrometer assembly has been built and commissioned at the experimental storage ring of the GSI Helmholtzzentrum Darmstadt. We characterize the crystal optics and demonstrate the usefulness of the instrumentation for accurate spectroscopy of both stationary and fast moving x-ray sources. The experimental procedures discussed here may also be applied for other spectroscopic studies where a transition from conventional germanium x-ray detectors to crystal spectrometers seems too demanding because of low source intensity.
Abstract: Group velocity control is demonstrated for x-ray photons of 14.4 keV energy via a direct measurement of the temporal delay imposed on spectrally narrow x-ray pulses. Subluminal light propagation is achieved by inducing a steep positive linear dispersion in the optical response of Fe57 Mössbauer nuclei embedded in a thin film planar x-ray cavity. The direct detection of the temporal pulse delay is enabled by generating frequency-tunable spectrally narrow x-ray pulses from broadband pulsed synchrotron radiation. Our theoretical model is in good agreement with the experimental data.
Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Physikalisch-Astronomische Fakultät (2015)
Abstract: In the visible range, polarimetry is a versatile tool in physics, chemistry and life sciences. Also in the x-ray range, the measurement of polarization changes can be found in a large number of scientific fields. The topic of this work is the analysis of such polarization changes with an extremely high precision. Therefore, two methods of creating very pure linear polarization states are investigated theoretically and experimentally, namely polarimetry with channel-cut crystals and polarimetry based on the Borrmann effect. With these methods, polarization purities reaching ten orders of magnitude can be realized, which enable the precise study of birefringence, dichroism and optical activity. This is demonstrated by different experiments. For instance, a rotation of the polarization plane of less than one arc second was detected during the transmission of an x-ray beam through a sugar solution. Various properties of the polarizers are explained using the dynamical theory of x-ray diffraction. These calculations show that especially at high photon energies the polarization purity is limited by so called umweganregung. Besides the measurement of small polarization changes, the high polarization purity leads also to application in nuclear resonant scattering experiments. Photons that change their polarization during scattering can pass the polarimeter whereas the non-resonantly scattered photons are suppressed by many orders of magnitude. Thus, this method allows a pure measurement of nuclear spectra and lead to the discovery of several quantum optical phenomena in the x-ray range.
Abstract: We have measured the polarization purity of undulator radiation at 12.9 keV, with hitherto unachievable precision. We could measure a polarization purity of 1.8 × 10−4 by using a silicon channel-cut crystal with six Bragg reflections at 45° as analyzer.
Abstract: Besides intensity and direction, the polarization of an electromagnetic wave provides characteristic information on the crossed medium. Here, we present two methods for the determination of the polarization state of x rays by polarizers based on anomalous transmission (Borrmann effect). Using a polarizer-analyzer setup, we have measured a polarization purity of less than 1.5 × 10^−5, three orders of magnitude better than obtained in earlier work. Using the analyzer crystal in multiple-beam case with slightly detuned azimuth, we show how the first three Stokes parameters can be determined with a single angular scan. Thus, polarization analyzers based on anomalous transmission make it possible to detect changes of the polarization in a range from degrees down to arcseconds.
Abstract: Hot electron generation plays an important role in the fast ignition approach to inertial confinement fusion (ICF) and other applications with ultra-intense lasers. Hot electrons of temperature up to 10–20 MeV have been produced by high contrast picosecond duration laser pulses focussed to intensities of ∼10^20 W cm^(−2) with a deliberate pre-pulse on solid targets using the Vulcan Petawatt Laser facility. We present measurements of the number and temperature of hot electrons obtained using an electron spectrometer. The results are correlated to the density scale length of the plasma produced by a controlled pre-pulse measured using an optical probe diagnostic. 1D simulations predict electron temperature variations with plasma density scale length in agreement with the experiment at shorter plasma scale lengths ( <7.5μ<7.5μ<7.5μ m), but with the experimental temperatures (13–17 MeV) dropping below the simulation values (20–25 MeV) at longer scale lengths. The experimental results show that longer interaction plasmas produced by pre-pulses enable significantly greater number of hot electrons to be produced.
Abstract: X-ray emission from hollow ions offers new diagnostic opportunities for dense, strongly coupled plasma. We present extended modeling of the x-ray emission spectrum reported by Colgan et al. [Phys. Rev. Lett. 110, 125001 (2013)] based on two collisional-radiative codes: the hybrid-structure Spectroscopic Collisional-Radiative Atomic Model (SCRAM) and the mixed-unresolved transition arrays (MUTA) ATOMIC model. We show that both accuracy and completeness in the modeled energy level structure are critical for reliable diagnostics, investigate how emission changes with different treatments of ionization potential depression, and discuss two approaches to handling the extensive structure required for hollow-ion models with many multiply excited configurations.
Abstract: The control of light-matter interaction at the quantum level usually requires coherent laser fields. But already an exchange of virtual photons with the electromagnetic vacuum field alone can lead to quantum coherences, which subsequently suppress spontaneous emission. We demonstrate such spontaneously generated coherences (SGC) in a large ensemble of nuclei operating in the x-ray regime, resonantly coupled to a common cavity environment. The observed SGC originates from two fundamentally different mechanisms related to cooperative emission and magnetically controlled anisotropy of the cavity vacuum. This approach opens new perspectives for quantum control, quantum state engineering and simulation of quantum many-body physics in an essentially decoherence-free setting.
Abstract: The polarization purity of 6.457- and 12.914-keV x rays has been improved to the level of 2.4×10-10 and 5.7×10-10. The polarizers are channel-cut silicon crystals using six 90° reflections. Their performance and possible applications are demonstrated in the measurement of the optical activity of a sucrose solution.
Abstract: In high-spectral resolution experiments with the petawatt Vulcan laser, strong x-ray radiation of KK hollow atoms (atoms without n=1 electrons) from thin Al foils was observed at pulse intensities of 3 × 10^(20) W/cm^2. The observations of spectra from these exotic states of matter are supported by detailed kinetics calculations, and are consistent with a picture in which an intense polychromatic x-ray field, formed from Thomson scattering and bremsstrahlung in the electrostatic fields at the target surface, drives the KK hollow atom production. We estimate that this x-ray field has an intensity of > 5 × 10^(18) W/cm^2 and is in the 3 keV range.
Abstract: We demonstrate that an ultrashort-pulse laser-driven x-ray diode can be used for time-resolved experiments on a picosecond timescale. Hence, acoustical phonons in germanium are observed after ultrashort laser-excitation and the results are compared with calculations according to a microphysical model. We also show the advantages of this kind of picosecond x-ray source compared to other sources on the basis of its properties.