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Compression of X-ray Free Electron Laser pulses to attosecond duration

Sadler, James D. and Nathvani, Ricky and Oleśkiewicz, Piotr and Ceurvorst, Luke A. and Ratan, Naren and Kasim, Muhammad F. and Trines, Raoul M. G. M. and Bingham, Robert and Norreys, Peter A. (2015) Compression of X-ray Free Electron Laser pulses to attosecond duration. Scientific Reports, 5. ISSN 2045-2322

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    State of the art X-ray Free Electron Laser facilities currently provide the brightest X-ray pulses available, typically with mJ energy and several hundred femtosecond duration. Here we present one- and two-dimensional Particle-in-Cell simulations, utilising the process of stimulated Raman amplification, showing that these pulses are compressed to a temporally coherent, sub-femtosecond pulse at 8% efficiency. Pulses of this type may pave the way for routine time resolution of electrons in nm size potentials. Furthermore, evidence is presented that significant Landau damping and wave-breaking may be beneficial in distorting the rear of the interaction and further reducing the final pulse duration.