July 31, 2021 04:48 GMT
Although the free-electron laser itself is not new, the team was able to reduce the size of the facility from hundreds or even thousands to just 12 metres.
Scientists from Shanghai Institute of Optics and Micromechanics have created the first compact particle accelerator capable of powering a free electron laser, communication Last Friday the Chinese Academy of Sciences (ACC).
The device allows the examination of matter at the level of molecules and atoms, and promises to deliver “advances in various disciplines, such as physics, chemistry, structural biology, medicine, materials science, energy and the environment,” says the organism.
“The properties of the free-electron laser, including extremely high resolution rates with respect to time and space and strong ultra-high brightness, make it possible to obtain 3D and multi-modal images of materials at ultra-high resolution,” said Wang Wentao, one of the team.
‘Probably the application of technology […] Significantly expands human understanding of the mystery of life and the evolution of living organisms.”
Although the free electron laser itself is not new and has been synthesized and used for research purposes, his earlier designs envisioned the use of massive accelerators, between 300 and 3400 metres. At the moment, there are only eight of these devices in the world. Scientists say the drastic decline may make them even more famous.
“We tested the feasibility of the new technical route using a laser electron accelerator, with a very high acceleration capacity, and reduced the size of the facility from 1 km to 12 meters,” highlights Leng Yuxin, deputy director of the institute.
Design details are described in an article published Last week in Nature magazine.