Towards zeptosecond-scale pulses from x-ray free electron lasers

Dunning, D.J. and Thompson, N.R. and McNeil, B.W.J.; (2013) Towards zeptosecond-scale pulses from x-ray free electron lasers. In: FEL2013: Proceedings of the 35th International Free-Electron Laser Conference. JACoW, USA, pp. 458-463. ISBN 9783954501267

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    The short wavelength and high peak power of the presentgeneration of free-electron lasers (FELs) opens the possibilityof ultra-short pulses even surpassing the present(tens to hundreds of attoseconds) capabilities of other lightsources - but only if x-ray FELs can be made to generatepulses consisting of just a few optical cycles. For hard xrayoperation (<~0.1nm), this corresponds to durations ofapproximately a single attosecond, and below into the zeptosecondscale. This talk will describe a novel method [1] to generate trains of few-cycle pulses, at GW peak powers,from existing x-ray FEL facilities by using a relativelyshort 'afterburner'. Such pulses would enhance researchopportunity in atomic dynamics and push capability towardsthe investigation of electronic-nuclear and nucleardynamics. The corresponding multi-colour spectral output, with a bandwidth envelope increased by up to two orders of magnitudes over SASE, also has potential applications.