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Phys Rev Lett. 2013 Apr 26;110(17):173005. Epub 2013 Apr 26.

Deep inner-shell multiphoton ionization by intense x-ray free-electron laser pulses.

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1
Institute of Multidisciplinary Research for Advanced Materials, Tohoku University, Sendai 980-8577, Japan.

Abstract

We have investigated multiphoton multiple ionization dynamics of xenon atoms using a new x-ray free-electron laser facility, SPring-8 Angstrom Compact free electron LAser (SACLA) in Japan, and identified that Xe(n+) with n up to 26 is produced at a photon energy of 5.5 keV. The observed high charge states (n≥24) are produced via five-photon absorption, evidencing the occurrence of multiphoton absorption involving deep inner shells. A newly developed theoretical model, which shows good agreement with the experiment, elucidates the complex pathways of sequential electronic decay cascades accessible in heavy atoms. The present study of heavy-atom ionization dynamics in high-intensity hard-x-ray pulses makes a step forward towards molecular structure determination with x-ray free-electron lasers.

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