Attosecond-Angstrom free-electron-laser towards the cold beam limit

Habib, A. F. and Manahan, G.G. and Scherkl, P. and Heinemann, T. and Sutherland, A. and Altuiri, R. and Alotaibi, B. M. and Litos, M. and Cary, J. and Raubenheimer, T. and Hemsing, E. and Hogan, M. and Rosenzweig, J. B. and Williams, P. H. and McNeil, B. W. J. and Hidding, B. (2022) Attosecond-Angstrom free-electron-laser towards the cold beam limit. Other., Ithaca, NY. (

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Electron beam quality is paramount for X-ray pulse production in free-electron-lasers (FELs). State-of-the-art linear accelerators (linacs) can deliver multi-GeV electron beams with sufficient quality for hard X-ray-FELs, albeit requiring km-scale setups, whereas plasma-based accelerators can produce multi-GeV electron beams on metre-scale distances, and begin to reach beam qualities sufficient for EUV FELs. We show, that electron beams from plasma photocathodes many orders of magnitude brighter than state-of-the-art can be generated in plasma wakefield accelerators (PWFA), and then extracted, captured, transported and injected into undulators without quality loss. These ultrabright, sub-femtosecond electron beams can drive hard X-FELs near the cold beam limit to generate coherent X-ray pulses of attosecond-Angstrom class, reaching saturation after only 10 metres of undulator. This plasma-X-FEL opens pathways for novel photon science capabilities, such as unperturbed observation of electronic motion inside atoms at their natural time and length scale, and towards higher photon energies.


Habib, A. F. ORCID logoORCID:, Manahan, G.G. ORCID logoORCID:, Scherkl, P. ORCID logoORCID:, Heinemann, T., Sutherland, A., Altuiri, R., Alotaibi, B. M. ORCID logoORCID:, Litos, M., Cary, J., Raubenheimer, T., Hemsing, E., Hogan, M., Rosenzweig, J. B., Williams, P. H., McNeil, B. W. J. ORCID logoORCID: and Hidding, B. ORCID logoORCID:;