Very intense hard X-ray beams (1.5µm X-ray source size, 5µJ-50µJ/shot in the 30keV-40keV band, 50mrad x 50mrad divergence, critical energy for the X-ray spectrum of 30keV) have been generated through ultra-relativistic self-guiding over long gas jet length (cm range). I will describe the experiments realized with our new laser facility (delivering up to 7J in 18fs at 2.5Hz on target) and I will discuss the empirical scaling laws we have obtained correlating the X-ray photon number to the laser and gas jet parameters. Our scaling indicates that a 40keV X-ray beam with energy of 1mJ range per shot can be produced with a driving laser with power in the 1 – 2PW range.
The X-ray source has been operated at the nominal 2.5Hz repetition rate giving an average power in the 12µW-125µW range in the 30keV-40keV spectral band. High throughput X-ray phase contrast imaging and 3D phase contrast tomography of various objects have been realized. We demonstrated that the phase contrast imaging was giving the possibility to see transparent very small objects (10µm to 300µm diameter range) embedded inside inhomogeneous and anisotropic thick (absorbing) environment. We will present the experimental demonstration and discuss the potential for non-destructive imaging.
There is a need for a stand-alone system dedicated for plants and seeds screening available on production sites. I will present our funded program in Canada in developing high throughput X-ray phase contrast plant imaging and screening using LWFA-based X-ray sources (10keV-100keV). This effort is realized through an initiative led by the Global Institute for Food Security (GIFS) at the U of Saskatchewan that aims to establish the correlation between the phenotypic expression of a plant and its adaptation to biotic and abiotic environmental stress.