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Free electron laser FLARE for the first time operational as a THz ESR spectrometer

Date of news: 4 April 2017

Researchers of the FELIX Laboratory and the High Field Magnet Laboratory (HFML) have reported first scientific results using the THz free electron laser FLARE in combination with a persistent, high field magnet of 33 T. This worldwide unique combination gives the opportunity to investigate electronic properties of materials at extreme conditions that can hardly been met elsewhere in the world. The results, which are published in the journal Applied Physics Letters, form the starting point for further pioneering research on advanced materials and devices.

After years of design, building and commissioning, the free electron laser FLARE of the FELIX Laboratory and a 33 Tesla magnet of HFML are operating as a unique combination. The THz laser beam, which originates from the free electron laser located in the basement of the FELIX Laboratory, is directed almost 90 meters to the 33 Tesla magnet in the neighboring building of the HFML.

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By combining the free electron laser FLARE with the 33 Tesla magnet, electronic properties of materials can be investigated at unprecedented frequencies, laser light intensities and magnetic field strengths. The researchers tested the performance of the novel THz spectrometer by measuring high-field Electron Spin Resonance (ESR) in solid polycrystalline DPPH, a standard benchmark material for ESR calibration experiments.

Dr. Dmytro Kamenskyi, leader of the FELIX/HFML team, is delighted about these first results: “This experiment provides us with critical information about the behavior of the spectrometer. The knowledge that we obtained is crucial for our future experiments on other materials and represents the first step towards a THz spectrometer at the highest possible magnetic fields of 45 T, which we will apply in the near future.”

By using the new THz spectrometer discoveries and knowledge about properties of materials come into reach that could not be achieved before. The next step for the researchers is to employ the THz spectrometer and to investigate the properties of advanced materials, such as high Tc superconductors, semiconductor nanostructures, magnetic materials and organic crystals. This knowledge can be of relevance for the development of electronic devices at THz frequencies, faster magnetic hard drives for computers and more efficient solar cells.


A THz spectrometer combining the free electron laser FLARE with 33 T magnetic fields, M. Ozerov, B. Bernath, D. Kamenskyi, B. Redlich,  A.F.G. van der Meer, P.C.M. Christianen, H. Engelkamp, and J.C. Maan, Appl. Phys. Lett. 110, 094106 (2017)

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4977862

More information, contact:

Dr. Dmytro Kamenskyi, D.Kamenskyi@science.ru.nl