Analysis of Femtosecond Timing Noise and Stability in Microwave Components

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To probe chemical dynamics, X-ray pump-probe experiments trigger a change in a sample with an optical laser pulse, followed by an X-ray probe. At the Linac Coherent Light Source, LCLS, timing differences between the optical pulse and x-ray probe have been observed with an accuracy as low as 50 femtoseconds. This sets a lower bound on the number of frames one can arrange over a time scale to recreate a 'movie' of the chemical reaction. The timing system is based on phase measurements from signals corresponding to the two laser pulses; these measurements are done by using a double-balanced mixer ... continued below

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19 pages

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Whalen, Michael R. & /SLAC, /Stevens Tech. June 22, 2011.

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To probe chemical dynamics, X-ray pump-probe experiments trigger a change in a sample with an optical laser pulse, followed by an X-ray probe. At the Linac Coherent Light Source, LCLS, timing differences between the optical pulse and x-ray probe have been observed with an accuracy as low as 50 femtoseconds. This sets a lower bound on the number of frames one can arrange over a time scale to recreate a 'movie' of the chemical reaction. The timing system is based on phase measurements from signals corresponding to the two laser pulses; these measurements are done by using a double-balanced mixer for detection. To increase the accuracy of the system, this paper studies parameters affecting phase detection systems based on mixers, such as signal input power, noise levels, temperature drift, and the effect these parameters have on components such as the mixers, splitters, amplifiers, and phase shifters. Noise data taken with a spectrum analyzer show that splitters based on ferrite cores perform with less noise than strip-line splitters. The data also shows that noise in specific mixers does not correspond with the changes in sensitivity per input power level. Temperature drift is seen to exist on a scale between 1 and 27 fs/{sup o}C for all of the components tested. Results show that any components using more metallic conductor tend to exhibit more noise as well as more temperature drift. The scale of these effects is large enough that specific care should be given when choosing components and designing the housing of high precision microwave mixing systems for use in detection systems such as the LCLS. With these improvements, the timing accuracy can be improved to lower than currently possible.

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19 pages

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  • Report No.: SLAC-TN-11-017
  • Grant Number: AC02-76SF00515
  • DOI: 10.2172/1017210 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1017210
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc834575

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Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • June 22, 2011

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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  • Nov. 22, 2016, 6:15 p.m.

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Whalen, Michael R. & /SLAC, /Stevens Tech. Analysis of Femtosecond Timing Noise and Stability in Microwave Components, report, June 22, 2011; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc834575/: accessed October 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.