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Journal Article

Ultrashort Free-Electron Laser X-ray Pulses


Cavalieri,  A. L.
Extreme Timescales, Condensed Matter Dynamics Department, Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter, Max Planck Society;
Center for Free-Electron Laser Science;

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Helml, W., Grguraš, I., Juranić, P. N., Düsterer, S., Mazza, T., Maier, A. R., et al. (2017). Ultrashort Free-Electron Laser X-ray Pulses. Applied Sciences, 7(9): 915. doi:10.3390/app7090915.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0002-1609-C
For the investigation of processes happening on the time scale of the motion of bound electrons, well-controlled X-ray pulses with durations in the few-femtosecond and even sub-femtosecond range are a necessary prerequisite. Novel free-electron lasers sources provide these ultrashort, high-brightness X-ray pulses, but their unique aspects open up concomitant challenges for their characterization on a suitable time scale. In this review paper we describe progress and results of recent work on ultrafast pulse characterization at soft and hard X-ray free-electron lasers. We report on different approaches to laser-assisted time-domain measurements, with specific focus on single-shot characterization of ultrashort X-ray pulses from self-amplified spontaneous emission-based and seeded free-electron lasers. The method relying on the sideband measurement of X-ray electron ionization in the presence of a dressing optical laser field is described first. When the X-ray pulse duration is shorter than half the oscillation period of the streaking field, few-femtosecond characterization becomes feasible via linear streaking spectroscopy. Finally, using terahertz fields alleviates the issue of arrival time jitter between streaking laser and X-ray pulse, but compromises the achievable temporal resolution. Possible solutions to these remaining challenges for single-shot, full time–energy characterization of X-ray free-electron laser pulses are proposed in the outlook at the end of the review.