Conference Synchrotron Radiation and Neutrons in Art & Archaeology (SR2A 2016)

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talkScientific


Smart*Light: A Flemish-Dutch Table-top Synchrotron Light Source for Conservation Science: Immediately after its discovery in 1895, X-ray radiation started to make an enormous contribution to the study of artwork. Notwithstanding major developments over the past century, there are three important intrinsic limitations to X-ray tubes - the conventional X-ray sources used in the lab: their relative low intensity, the poor coherence of radiation and the selective availability of X-ray energies. Since the late 1970s synchrotron source have become available, which offer high-brilliance, coherent and energy-tunable X-rays, but these are only available at a limited number of specialized facilities worldwide, providing scarce beam time - at a high cost - outside the museum lab. This contribution will discuss the future development and application of a revolutionary, compact, affordable and miniaturized alternative to a synchrotron facility - a tabletop Inverse Compton Scattering (ICS) source. The physical basis is the ICS process in which photons from a laser beam are bounced off a relativistic electron beam, turning them into X-ray photons through the relativistic Doppler effect. Already described theoretically decades ago, the enabling technology necessary to materialize such a source, has only very recently matured into robust components. Ultra-low-emittance electron guns, compact X-band accelerator technology and highpower pulsed lasers have become available only recently. This now brings the ICS source for in-situ applications of high-energy X-rays within our reach. In combination with the newest X-ray detectors (Medipix) the tabletop ICS source will constitute an extremely sensitive, on-site, non-destructive tool for imaging an analysis. It will combine (sub)micrometer spatial resolution with high analytical precision in structural a spectroscopic applications. We plan to use the ICS source where it will be most effective: in the museum conservation studio for the study of important artwork.
Period7 Sept 2016
Event titleConference Synchrotron Radiation and Neutrons in Art & Archaeology (SR2A 2016)
Event typeConference
LocationChicago, Illinois, United StatesShow on map