“Swiss army knife” for electrons wins innovation award

CFEL scientist Dongfang Zhang has been awarded the new Prize for Frontiers of Information Optoelectronics at the International Photonics and Optoelectronics Meeting POEM in Wuhan, China.

For the development of the “Segmented Terahertz Electron Accelerator and Manipulator” STEAM, the team of CFEL/DESY scientist Dongfang Zhang has been awarded the new Prize for Frontiers of Information Optoelectronics at the International Photonics and Optoelectronics Meeting POEM in Wuhan, China. The jury praised the development of the multifunctional device from the group of DESY's leading scientist Franz Kärtner as “outstanding research”. The Prize was presented during an award banquet at the conference.

STEAM is a kind of “Swiss army knife” for electrons, combining four functions in one device: it can accelerate, focus, compress and analyze electron bunches, depending on the mode of operation. Combining multiple instances of STEAM allows to perform multiple consecutive actions on one electron bunch. Driven by terahertz radiation, it is exceptionally small – complete with housing it is just two centimeters across, not much larger than a two-Eurocent-coin. The original development was presented as cover story in Nature Photonics (see CFEL press release).

The Prize for Frontiers of Information Optoelectronics was established by the Wuhan National Laboratory for Optoelectronics (WNLO) in China “to inspire cutting edge scientific discovery and technology innovation in the fields of optoelectronics, and to promote international communication and cooperation between researchers”. Together with it, two other prizes are awarded, for Frontiers in Energy Optoelectronics and for Frontiers in Biomedical optoelectronics. All three "Frontiers" prizes are awarded to one international and one Chinese team.