Evgenya Simakov: Then and Now / 2010 Early Career Award Winner


Particle accelerators are machines that use electromagnetic fields to propel charged particles to very high energies. They serve as fundamental tools for research at the very edge of known physics. At the same time, particle accelerators have many other applications. They deliver energetic particle and X-ray beams for studying new materials and biological processes, treating cancer, performing sterilization, and enabling security screenings for defense applications.

A significant obstacle to increasing the energy flux of the output of a particle accelerator is the Higher Order Modes (HOMs). These HOMs get excited by the accelerating particle beam and reduce the beam’s quality. To produce high quality particle beams, physicists come up with various ways of HOM suppression.

The DOE Early Career award allowed me to study the higher order mode suppression properties of the photonic band gap (PBG) structures. PBG structures are periodic electromagnetic structures with superior mode suppression properties. In the course of the Early Career project, we designed, fabricated, and operated the superconducting radio-frequency (SRF) PBG accelerating structures for the first time.

These SRF PBG accelerating structures have become a subject of a PhD dissertation. A student from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology was trained as a part of this project. The student designed, built, and tested a higher-frequency (2.1 GHz) SRF cavity with a PBG higher-order-mode coupler.

The project also allowed me, as an early career researcher, to focus on a single research topic for the duration of five years. I formed new collaborations and gained expertise in new areas of accelerator physics, such as the SRF accelerators.


Evgenya I. Simakov is a staff scientist in the Accelerator Operations and Technology Division, Accelerators and Electrodynamics Group, at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Los Alamos National Laboratory.


The Early Career Award program provides financial support that is foundational to young scientists, freeing them to focus on executing their research goals. The development of outstanding scientists early in their careers is of paramount importance to the Department of Energy Office of Science. By investing in the next generation of researchers, the Office of Science champions lifelong careers in discovery science. 

For more information, please go to the Early Career Research Program.


Advancing our Understanding of Photonic Band Gap Structures for Accelerators

The objective of this research is to advance photonic‐bandgap (PBG) accelerator technology to a stage where it can be used in future particle accelerators for high energy physics or other science applications. In conventional accelerating structures, intense particle beams can excite undesired states in the structure ‐‐ called higher‐order modes (HOMs) ‐‐ that in turn disrupt the beam. PBG structures, however, can be designed to contain the desired accelerating mode while transmitting HOMs out of the structure for disposal. Using PBG structures in particle accelerators could enable progress to significantly higher beam intensities, leading to a completely new generation of accelerator technologies.


Simakov, E.I., Arsenyve, S.A., Buechler, C.E., Edwards, R.L., Romero, W.P., Conde, M., Ha, G., Power4, J.G., Wisniewski, E.E., Jing, C., “Observation of Wakefield suppression in a photonic band gap accelerator structure.” Phys. Rev. Lett. 116, 064801 (2016). [DOI.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.116.064801]

Arsenyev, S.A., Temkin, R.J., Haynes, W.B., Yu, D., Shchegolkov, E.I.S., Tajima, T., Boulware, C.H., Grimm, T.L., and Rogacki, A.R., “Cryogenic testing of the 2.1 GHz five-cell superconducting RF cavity with a photonic band gap coupler cell.” Appl. Phys. Lett. 108, 222603 (2016). [DOI: 10.1063/1.4953204]

Simakov, E.I., Haynes, W.B., Madrid, M.A., Romero, F.P., Tajima, T., Tuzel, W.M., Boulware, C.H., and Grimm, T.L., “First high power test results for 2.1 GHz superconducting photonic band gap accelerator cavities.” Phys. Rev. Lett. 109, 164801 (2012). [DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.109.164801]


Additional profiles of the Early Career Research Program award recipients can be found on the Early Career Program Page.

The Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit www.energy.gov/science.

Sandra Allen McLean
Sandra Allen McLean (sandra.mclean@science.doe.gov) is a communications specialist in the Office of Science’s Office of Communications and Public Affairs.
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