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Optics Letters

Optics Letters


  • Vol. 17, Iss. 11 — Jun. 1, 1992
  • pp: 813–815

Geometric approach to wavelength tuning of the Čerenkov free-electron laser

Emily E. Fisch and John E. Walsh  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Letters, Vol. 17, Issue 11, pp. 813-815 (1992)

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We present a new and greatly simplified derivation of the tuning relation for a Čerenkov free-electron laser. The laser uses an electron beam to excite coherent light in a planar waveguide. The geometric (or zig-zag) theory of waveguides is used to model the set of guided modes, while properties of hte Čerenkov radiation dictate which modes are excited. The results obtained are identical to earlier research based on the formal application of Maxwell’s equations. However, the geometric approach adds physical insight into the Čerenkov free-electron laser design problem. The dependence of output wavelength on electron-beam voltage and resonator thickness is plotted. A sample laser is designed for operation from 150 to 825 μm.

© 1992 Optical Society of America

Original Manuscript: January 30, 1992
Published: June 1, 1992

Emily E. Fisch and John E. Walsh, "Geometric approach to wavelength tuning of the Čerenkov free-electron laser," Opt. Lett. 17, 813-815 (1992)

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  1. E. Fisch, J. Walsh, Appl. Phys. Lett. 60, 1298 (1992). [CrossRef]
  2. J. E. Walsh, in Laser Handbook, W. B. Colson, C. Pelligrini, A. Renieri, eds. (Elsevier, Amsterdam, 1990), Vol. 6, p. 485and references therein.
  3. H. Kogelnik, in Integrated Optics, T. Tamir, ed. (Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1975), pp. 15–79.
  4. The standard convention for mode labeling is employed: the first index refers to the number of half-wavelength variations in y (width), and the second index refers to the variations in x (height). Since the derivation imposed no restrictions on the width, this first index must be zero.
  5. We do not include the details of FEL gain and its impact on the resonator length and electron-beam parameters (current density, energy spread). Such considerations are beyond the scope of this Letter and have little impact on the wavelength tuning. They are, however, essential to the design of a feasible laser source.

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