Particle accelerators are crucial tools in a wide variety of areas in industry, research and the medical sector. The space these machines require ranges from a few square meters to large research centers. Using lasers to accelerate electrons within a photonic nanostructure constitutes a microscopic alternative with the potential of generating significantly lower costs and making devices considerably less bulky.

Until now, no substantial energy gains were demonstrated. In other words, it has not been shown that really have increased in speed significantly. A team of laser physicists at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) has now succeeded in demonstrating the first nanophotonic electron —at the same time as colleagues from Stanford University. The researchers from FAU have now published their findings in the journal Nature.

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