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Science. 2000 Mar 24;287(5461):2237-40.

Generation of femtosecond pulses of synchrotron radiation

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Materials Sciences Division, Accelerator and Fusion Research Division, Advanced Light Source, Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA. Applied Science and Technology Graduate Group, University of Calif.


Femtosecond synchrotron pulses were generated directly from an electron storage ring. An ultrashort laser pulse was used to modulate the energy of electrons within a 100-femtosecond slice of the stored 30-picosecond electron bunch. The energy-modulated electrons were spatially separated from the long bunch and used to generate approximately 300-femtosecond synchrotron pulses at a bend-magnet beamline, with a spectral range from infrared to x-ray wavelengths. The same technique can be used to generate approximately 100-femtosecond x-ray pulses of substantially higher flux and brightness with an undulator. Such synchrotron-based femtosecond x-ray sources offer the possibility of applying x-ray techniques on an ultrafast time scale to investigate structural dynamics in condensed matter.

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