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Rev Sci Instrum. 2017 Jun;88(6):063304. doi: 10.1063/1.4984969.

A compact linear accelerator based on a scalable microelectromechanical-system RF-structure.

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E. O. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, 1 Cyclotron Road, Berkeley, California 94720, USA.
SonicMEMS Laboratory, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853, USA.


A new approach for a compact radio-frequency (RF) accelerator structure is presented. The new accelerator architecture is based on the Multiple Electrostatic Quadrupole Array Linear Accelerator (MEQALAC) structure that was first developed in the 1980s. The MEQALAC utilized RF resonators producing the accelerating fields and providing for higher beam currents through parallel beamlets focused using arrays of electrostatic quadrupoles (ESQs). While the early work obtained ESQs with lateral dimensions on the order of a few centimeters, using a printed circuit board (PCB), we reduce the characteristic dimension to the millimeter regime, while massively scaling up the potential number of parallel beamlets. Using Microelectromechanical systems scalable fabrication approaches, we are working on further reducing the characteristic dimension to the sub-millimeter regime. The technology is based on RF-acceleration components and ESQs implemented in the PCB or silicon wafers where each beamlet passes through beam apertures in the wafer. The complete accelerator is then assembled by stacking these wafers. This approach has the potential for fast and inexpensive batch fabrication of the components and flexibility in system design for application specific beam energies and currents. For prototyping the accelerator architecture, the components have been fabricated using the PCB. In this paper, we present proof of concept results of the principal components using the PCB: RF acceleration and ESQ focusing. Ongoing developments on implementing components in silicon and scaling of the accelerator technology to high currents and beam energies are discussed.

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