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Rev Sci Instrum. 2007 Jan;78(1):014702.

Software defined photon counting system for time resolved x-ray experiments.

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PULSE Center, Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, Menlo Park, California 94025, USA.


The time structure of synchrotron radiation allows time resolved experiments with sub-100 ps temporal resolution using a pump-probe approach. However, the relaxation time of the samples may require a lower repetition rate of the pump pulse compared to the full repetition rate of the x-ray pulses from the synchrotron. The use of only the x-ray pulse immediately following the pump pulse is not efficient and often requires special operation modes where only a few buckets of the storage ring are filled. We designed a novel software defined photon counting system that allows to implement a variety of pump-probe schemes at the full repetition rate. The high number of photon counters allows to detect the response of the sample at multiple time delays simultaneously, thus improving the efficiency of the experiment. The system has been successfully applied to time resolved scanning transmission x-ray microscopy. However, this technique is applicable more generally.

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