Terahertz Acceleration and Sub-Femtosecond X-ray Production

Prof. Franz X Kartner

Center for Free-Electron Laser Science, DESY, and Department of Physics, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany

We report on experimental advances towards the development of a compact high-brilliance sub-femtosecond relativistic electron source based entirely on optical and terahertz (THz) technology. Employing accelerating frequencies two orders of magnitude higher, i.e. in the THz range, when compared to conventional radio-frequency (RF) accelerators, brings several fundamental advantages: the field emission threshold for surface electric field increases to the GV/m range and high operating frequencies and fields also make bunch compression to the sub-femtosecond regime possible. The possibility of compact FEL-like attosecond X-ray sources combining THz accelerators and optical undulators will be discussed.