Researchers Upgrade Ghost Imaging To Electrons

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Researchers from SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory extend the use of Ghost imaging technique to electrons

A multipixel detector in conventional imaging methods capture an image of an object by recording the intensity and color of a light beam that hits the object. In ghost imaging, the image of an object is formed by using correlations between the intensities of two light beams. The object beam strikes the object while the reference beam escapes the object. In this technique, the object does not have to receive a high dose of radiation. The ghost imaging technique was previously demonstrated with visible and infrared light and x-rays.

Now, researchers from SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, California demonstrated a ghost-imaging setup for electrons. The novel approach can reduce the acquisition time and the radiation dose on the sample in comparison with standard electron imaging. The signal beam in ghost imaging reflects off the target or passes through it and then hits a single-pixel detector. The signal beam can comprise fewer photons compared to the reference beam, which helps to avoid sample damage. The reference and signal beams are generally created by splitting one beam of light. However, no device is available for splitting an electron beam in electron ghost imaging. The researchers employed a system that replaced the reference beam with its computed version that was obtained digitally from the incident electron beam.

The pattern acquired from this computed reference beam was correlated with the intensity measured by the single-pixel detector. This enabled the researchers to reconstruct the image of a metal ring placed in the path of the signal beam. The researchers suggested that the approach can be applied with other illumination types. Such wide variety of applications can potentially extend ghost imaging to ions, plasmas, and neutrons. The research was published in the journal Physical Review Letters on September 11, 2018.

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