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Journal Article

Ultrafast X-ray pulse characterization at free-electron lasers


Maier,  Andreas R.
Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, Max Planck Society;
Ludwig-Maximilians Universität München, Am Coulombwall 1, 85746 Garching, Germany;

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Grguraš, I., Maier, A. R., Behrens, C., Mazza, T., Kelly, T. J., Radcliffe, P., et al. (2012). Ultrafast X-ray pulse characterization at free-electron lasers. Nature Photonics, 6(12), 852-857. doi:10.1038/nphoton.2012.276.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0028-1586-6
The ability to fully characterize ultrashort, ultra-intense X-ray pulses at free-electron lasers (FELs) will be crucial in experiments ranging from single-molecule imaging to extreme-timescale X-ray science. This issue is especially important at current-generation FELs, which are primarily based on self-amplified spontaneous emission and radiate with parameters that fluctuate strongly from pulse to pulse. Using single-cycle terahertz pulses from an optical laser, we have extended the streaking techniques of attosecond metrology to measure the temporal profile of individual FEL pulses with 5 fs full-width at half-maximum accuracy, as well as their arrival on a time base synchronized to the external laser to within 6 fs r.m.s. Optical laser-driven terahertz streaking can be utilized at any X-ray photon energy and is non-invasive, allowing it to be incorporated into any pump–probe experiment, eventually characterizing pulses before and after interaction with most sample environments.