New generation Synchrotron Radiation (SR) sources and Free Electron Lasers (FEL) require novel concepts of beam
diagnostics to keep photon beams under surveillance, asking for simultaneous position and intensity monitoring. To deal with high power load and short time pulses provided by these sources, novel materials and methods are needed for the next generation BPMs.<p> </p>Diamond is a promising material for the production of semitransparent in situ X-ray BPMs withstanding the high dose rates of SR rings and high energy FELs. We report on the development of freestanding, single crystal CVD diamond detectors. Performances in both low and radio frequency SR beam monitoring are presented. For the former, sensitivity deviation was found to be approximately 2%; a 0.05% relative precision in the intensity measurements and a 0.1-μm precision in the position encoding have been estimated. For the latter, single-shot characterizations revealed sub-nanosecond rise-times and spatial precisions below 6 μm, which allowed bunch-by-bunch monitoring in multi-bunch operation.<p> </p>Preliminary measurements at the Fermi FEL have been performed with this detector, extracting quantitative intensity and position information for FEL pulses (~ 100 fs, energy 12 ÷ 60 eV), with a long-term spatial precision of about 85 μm; results on FEL radiation damages are also reported. Due to their direct, low-energy band gap, InGaAs quantum well devices too may be used as fast detectors for photons ranging from visible to X-ray. Results are reported which show the capability of a novel InGaAs/InAlAs device to detect intensity and position of 100-fs-wide laser pulses.