Free-electron lasers - a down-sized design

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

High-gain free-electron lasers (FELs) operating at X-ray wavelengths have the potential to gather incredibly detailed information on how matter interacts and arranges itself at atomic and molecular scales. Output from a FEL can be a factor of around 108 brighter than current synchrotron sources (providing 108 times as many useful photons), and X-ray FELs should yield detailed structural information about molecules, atoms and their electronic states much more efficiently than current synchrotron X-ray sources. If high-brightness X-ray pulses of sufficiently short duration (around 10-15-10-17 s) can be generated, it may also be possible to capture ephemeral events, such as molecular bond formation, without temporal blurring. In essence, we would be able to make 'molecular movies'. Of course, the ability to observe phenomena at these scales also offers the enticing prospect of being able to control them. Recent progress towards these dreams has been made on a prototype of a Japanese X-ray FEL (XFEL) - the SPring-8 Compact SASE Source (SCSS) - and is reported on page 555 of this issue1. © 2008 Macmillan Publishers Limited.
LanguageEnglish
Pages522-524
Number of pages2
JournalNature Photonics
Volume2
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2008

Fingerprint

Free electron lasers
free electron lasers
X rays
x rays
X ray lasers
blurring
high gain
Synchrotrons
Luminance
rays
synchrotrons
brightness
Photons
prototypes
Atoms
Molecules
photons
pulses
atoms
molecules

Keywords

  • high-gain free-electron lasers (FELs)
  • X-ray wavelengths
  • information
  • matter
  • atomic and molecular scales

Cite this

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title = "Free-electron lasers - a down-sized design",
abstract = "High-gain free-electron lasers (FELs) operating at X-ray wavelengths have the potential to gather incredibly detailed information on how matter interacts and arranges itself at atomic and molecular scales. Output from a FEL can be a factor of around 108 brighter than current synchrotron sources (providing 108 times as many useful photons), and X-ray FELs should yield detailed structural information about molecules, atoms and their electronic states much more efficiently than current synchrotron X-ray sources. If high-brightness X-ray pulses of sufficiently short duration (around 10-15-10-17 s) can be generated, it may also be possible to capture ephemeral events, such as molecular bond formation, without temporal blurring. In essence, we would be able to make 'molecular movies'. Of course, the ability to observe phenomena at these scales also offers the enticing prospect of being able to control them. Recent progress towards these dreams has been made on a prototype of a Japanese X-ray FEL (XFEL) - the SPring-8 Compact SASE Source (SCSS) - and is reported on page 555 of this issue1. {\circledC} 2008 Macmillan Publishers Limited.",
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Free-electron lasers - a down-sized design. / Mcneil, Brian.

In: Nature Photonics, Vol. 2, No. 9, 09.2008, p. 522-524.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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