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Free-electron Brewster radiation

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posted on 2023-02-22, 17:00 authored by Ruoxi Chen, Jialin Chen, Zheng Gong, Xinyan Zhang, Xingjian Zhu, Yi Yang, Ido Kaminer, Hongsheng Chen, Baile Zhang, Xiao Lin
Free-electron radiation offers an enticing route to create light emission at arbitrary spectral regime. However, this type of light emission is generally weak, which is intrinsically limited by the weak particle-matter interaction and unavoidably impedes the development of many promising applications, such as the miniaturization of free-electron radiation sources and high-energy particle detectors. Here we reveal a mechanism to enhance the particle-matter interaction by exploiting the pseudo-Brewster effect of gain materials - presenting an enhancement of at least four orders of magnitude for the light emission. This mechanism is enabled by the emergence of an unprecedented phase diagram that maps all phenomena of free-electron radiation into three distinct phases in a gain-thickness parameter space, namely the conventional, intermediate, and Brewster phases, when an electron penetrates a dielectric slab with a modest gain and a finite thickness. Essentially, our revealed mechanism corresponds to the free-electron radiation in the Brewster phase, which also uniquely features ultrahigh directionality, always at the Brewster angle, regardless of the electron velocity. Counterintuitively, we find that the intensity of this free-electron Brewster radiation is insensitive to the Fabry-Perot resonance condition and thus the variation of slab thickness, and moreover, a weaker gain could lead to a stronger enhancement for the light emission. The scheme of free-electron Brewster radiation, especially along with its compatibility with low-energy electrons, may enable the development of high-directionality high-intensity light sources at any frequency.

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