Powerful picosecond generators are in demand in various fields of experimental electrophysics to produce ultrashort electron beams and X-ray pulses in vacuum diodes and to form runaway electron flows in gases.
They also have applications in high-power microwave electronics, but researchers are constantly striving to obtain shorter and more powerful pulses.
In Review of Scientific Instruments, by AIP Publishing, scientists showed compact solid-state pulse generators could generate electrical pulses of less than one-billionth of a second in duration and up to 50 billion watts in power.
“For comparison, the most powerful hydroelectric power plant in China has an output power of 22.5 billion watts,” said Sergei Rukin, one of the authors.
Improving picosecond generators and mastering higher peak power levels in the picosecond range sets the groundwork for new applications in the coming years.
“This also happened with the development of powerful nanoscecond pulsed devices during the last 60 years,”