A superconducting rf linac has been required to realize high-duty operation and low-electricity consumption for a high-average-power and high-efficiency free-electron laser (FEL). The JAERI FEL superconducting linac consists of a 250 kV electron gun, a subharmonic normal-conducting buncher (SHB) of 83.3 MHz, and two single-cell and two five-cell superconducting cavities of 499.8 MHz. The gun was typically operated around 200 kV to reduce space-charge effects. A combination of the SHB and the two single-cell cavities enabled a high-current beam of more than 10 A by utilizing a thermionic cathode and a grid pulser. The full width at half maximum bunch length and energy resolution were measured to be 22 ps and 1% or less, respectively. The measured results agreed with calculations utilizing the modified PARMELA code. This showed the validity of the linac design for the FEL. With this beam quality, high-average FEL power of 0.1 kW at a 24-28 μm wavelength was obtained in a quasi-cw mode.
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