Compact Coherent X-Ray Source (CCXS)


This invention has a broad suite of applications in the industrial, scientific, military and medical fields. Specific uses includes EUV lithography, x-ray microscopy, protein crystallography, and studies of ultrafast phenomena. 

Problem Addressed

Current methods of x-ray generation includes bremsstrahlung x-rays from a tube, inverse compton scattering in either a small linear accelerator or via synchrotrons and x-ray free electron lasers. These methods are either non-coherent, inefficient or too expensive. Therefore, there is a need for a high performance x-ray source that is coherent, inexpensive and efficient.


The invention emits coherent radiation by first generating and transmitting an array of discrete electron beamlets from a nanocathode array along a longitudinal axis. Subsequently, an array of electron beamlets is focused to reduce the spacing that separates the electron beamlets. The transverse-axis spacing of the electron beamlets is then transferred to the longitudinal axis via an emittance exchange beamline, creating a periodically modulated distribution of coherent electronic current. The coherent electronic current can then be directed into a stream of photons to generate coherent x-ray radiation.


  • The invention uses reduced electron energy, thus it is smaller in size and cheaper than current x-ray generation methods
  • It can generate high performance x-rays similar to those produced by large synchrotron facilities and FELs
  • It has improved spatial resolution over conventional radiography