First lasing and operation of an ångstrom-wavelength free-electron laser

Article metrics

Abstract

The recently commissioned Linac Coherent Light Source is an X-ray free-electron laser at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. It produces coherent soft and hard X-rays with peak brightness nearly ten orders of magnitude beyond conventional synchrotron sources and a range of pulse durations from 500 to <10 fs (10−15 s). With these beam characteristics this light source is capable of imaging the structure and dynamics of matter at atomic size and timescales. The facility is now operating at X-ray wavelengths from 22 to 1.2 Å and is presently delivering this high-brilliance beam to a growing array of scientific researchers. We describe the operation and performance of this new ‘fourth-generation light source’.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: LCLS machine layout.
Figure 2: Photograph of a single undulator segment.
Figure 3: Electron trajectories through the undulator after beam-based alignment.
Figure 4: FEL gain length measurement at 1.5 Å.
Figure 5: Measured X-ray pulse energy (blue) and estimated peak power (green) versus FWHM electron bunch length.

References

  1. 1

    Leone, S. R. Report of the Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee Panel on Novel Coherent Light Sources. U.S. Department of Energy, January 1999. http://www.er.doe.gov/production/bes/BESAC/ncls_rep.PDF.

  2. 2

    Madey, J. Stimulated emission of bremsstrahlung in a periodic magnetic field. J. Appl. Phys. 42, 1906–1913 (1971).

  3. 3

    Kondratenko, K. & Saldin, E. Generating of coherent radiation by a relativistic electron beam in an ondulator. Part. Accel. 10, 207–216 (1980).

  4. 4

    Bonifacio, R., Pellegrini, C. & Narducci, L. M. Collective instabilities and high-gain regime in a free electron laser. Opt. Commun. 50, 373–378 (1984).

  5. 5

    Huang, Z. & Kim, K.-J. Review of X-ray free-electron laser theory. Phys. Rev. ST Accel. Beams 10, 034801 (2007).

  6. 6

    Winick, H. The linac coherent light source (LCLS): a fourth-generation light source using the SLAC linac. J. Elec. Spec. Rel. Phenom. 75, 1–8 (1995).

  7. 7

    Arthur, J. et al. Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) Conceptual Design Report. SLAC-R-593 (Stanford 2002) (see also http://ssrl.slac.stanford.edu/lcls/CDR/).

  8. 8

    Pellegrini, C. A 4 to 0.1 nm FEL based on the SLAC linac, in Workshop on 4th Generation Light Sources SSRL-Report-92/02 (eds Cornacchia, M. & Winnick, H.) 364–375 (SSL, 1992).

  9. 9

    Arthur, J., Materlick, G. & Winick, H. The LCLS: A fourth generation light source using the SLAC linac. Rev. Sci. Instrum. 66, 1987–1989 (1995).

  10. 10

    Neutze, R., Wouts, R., Van Der Spoel, D., Weckert, E. & Hajdu, J. Potential for biomolecular imaging with femtosecond X-ray pulses. Nature 406, 752–757 (2000).

  11. 11

    Hogan, M. et al. Measurements of gain larger than 105 at 12 µm in a self-amplified spontaneous-emission free-electron laser. Phys. Rev. Lett. 81, 4867–4870 (1998).

  12. 12

    Andruszkow, J. et al. First observation of self-amplified spontaneous emission in a free-electron laser at 109 nm wavelength. Phys. Rev. Lett. 85, 3825–3829 (2000).

  13. 13

    Milton, S. et al. Exponential gain and saturation of a self-amplified spontaneous emission free-electron laser. Science 292, 2037–2041 (2001).

  14. 14

    Ayvazyan, V. et al. Generation of GW radiation pulses from a VUV free-electron laser operating in the femtosecond regime. Phys. Rev. Lett. 88, 104802 (2002).

  15. 15

    Tremaine, A. et al. Experimental characterization of nonlinear harmonic radiation from a visible self-amplified spontaneous emission free-electron laser at saturation. Phys. Rev. Lett. 88, 204801 (2002).

  16. 16

    Shintake, T. et al. A compact free-electron laser for generating coherent radiation in the extreme ultraviolet region. Nature Photon. 2, 555–559 (2008).

  17. 17

    Ackermann, W. et al. Operation of a free-electron laser from the extreme ultraviolet to the water window. Nature Photon. 1, 336–342 (2007).

  18. 18

    Altarelli, M. et al. (eds). XFEL: The European X-Ray Free-Electron Laser Technical Design Report. Preprint DESY 2006-097 (DESY, 2006) (see also http://xfel.desy.de).

  19. 19

    Tanaka, T. & Shintake, T. (eds) SCSS XFEL Conceptual Design Report (Riken Harima Institute, 2005) (see also http://www-xfel.spring8.or.jp).

  20. 20

    Patterson, B. D. et al. Coherent science at the SwissFEL X-ray Laser. New J. Phys. 12, 035012 (2010) (see also http://fel.web.psi.ch/).

  21. 21

    Ding, Y. et al. Measurements and simulations of ultralow emittance and ultrashort electron beams in the linac coherent light source. Phys. Rev. Lett. 102, 254801 (2009).

  22. 22

    Neal, R. B. The Stanford Two-Mile Accelerator (W.A. Benjamin, 1968).

  23. 23

    Akre, R. et al. Commissioning the Linac Coherent Light Source injector. Phys. Rev. ST Accel. Beams 11, 030703 (2008).

  24. 24

    Saldin, E., Schneidmiller, E. & Yurkov, M. Coherent radiation of an electron bunch moving in an arc of a circle. Proc. 1997 Part. Accel. Conf., 12–16 May 1997, Vancouver, BC, Canada, 1658–1660 (IEEE, 1997).

  25. 25

    Bane, K. et al. Measurements and modelling of coherent synchrotron radiation and its impact on the Linac Coherent Light Source electron beam. Phys. Rev. ST Accel. Beams 12, 030704 (2009).

  26. 26

    Akre, R. et al. A transverse RF deflecting structure for bunch length and phase space diagnostics. Proc. 2001 Part. Accel. Conf., 18–22 June 2001, Chicago, IL, USA, 2353–2355 (IEEE, 2001).

  27. 27

    Saldin, E., Schneidmiller, E. & Yurkov, M. Longitudinal space charge-driven microbunching instability in the TESLA test facility linac. Nucl. Instrum. Meth. A 528, 355–359 (2004).

  28. 28

    Huang, Z. et al. Suppression of microbunching instability in the linac coherent light source. Phys. Rev. ST Accel. Beams 7, 074401 (2004).

  29. 29

    Huang, Z. et al. Measurements of the linac coherent light source laser heater and its impact on the X-ray free-electron laser performance. Phys. Rev. ST Accel. Beams 13, 020703 (2010).

  30. 30

    Wu, J. et al. Commissioning experience with the linac coherent light source feedback systems. Proc. of the 2008 Free-Electron Laser Conference, 24–29 August 2008, Gyeongju, Korea, p. 98–101 (IEEE, 2008).

  31. 31

    Loos, H., Borden, T., Emma, P., Frisch, J. & Wu, J. Relative bunch length monitor for the linac coherent light source (LCLS) using coherent edge radiation. Proc. of the 2007 Part. Accel. Conference, 25–29 June 2007, Albuquerque, NM, USA, p. 4189–4191 (IEEE, 2007).

  32. 32

    Nuhn, H.-D. LCLS undulator commissioning, alignment, and performance. Proc. of the 2009 Free-Electron Laser Conference, 23–28 August 2009, Liverpool, UK, p. 714–721 (JACOW, 2009).

  33. 33

    Bane, K. L. F. & Stupakov, G. Resistive wall wakefield in the LCLS undulator. Proc. of the 2005 Part. Accel. Conference, 16–20 May 2005, Knoxville, TN, USA, p. 3390–3392 (IEEE, 2005).

  34. 34

    Emma, P., Carr, R. & Nuhn, H.-D. Beam based alignment for the LCLS FEL undulator. Nucl. Instrum. Methods A 429, 407–413 (1999).

  35. 35

    Reiche, S. GENESIS 1.3: a fully 3D time-dependent FEL simulation code. Nucl. Instrum. Methods A 429, 243–248 (1999).

  36. 36

    Ratner, D. et al. FEL gain length and taper measurements at LCLS. Proc. of the 2009 Free-Electron Laser Conference, 23–28 August 2009, Liverpool, UK, p. 221–224 (JACOW, 2009).

  37. 37

    McCarville, T. J. et al. Opto-mechanical design considerations for the Linac Coherent Light Source X-ray mirror system. Proc. SPIE 7077, 70770E (2008).

  38. 38

    Hau-Riege, S. P. et al. Wavelength dependence of the damage threshold of inorganic materials under extreme-ultraviolet free-electron-laser irradiation. Appl. Phys. Lett. 95, 111104 (2009).

  39. 39

    Hau-Riege, S. P., Bionta, R. M., Ryutov, D. D. & Krzywinski, J. Measurement of free-electron laser pulse energies by photoluminescence in nitrogen gas. J. Appl. Phys. 103, 053306 (2008).

  40. 40

    Yong, G. J. et al. Collassal magnetoresistive manganite based fast bolometric X-ray sensors for total energy measurements of free electron lasers. Sensor Lett. 6, 741–745 (2008).

  41. 41

    Barty, A. et al. Predicting the coherent X-ray wavefront focal properties at the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) X-ray free electron laser. Opt. Express 17, 15508–15519 (2009).

  42. 42

    Soufli, R. et al. Morphology, microstructure, stress and damage properties of thin film coatings for the LCLS X-ray mirrors. Proc. SPIE 7361, 73610U (2009).

  43. 43

    Feldhaus, J. et al. Possible application of X-ray optical elements for reducing the spectral bandwidth of an X-ray SASE FEL. Opt. Commun. 140, 341–352 (1997).

  44. 44

    Stupakov, G. Using the beam-echo effect for generation of short-wavelength radiation. Phys. Rev. Lett. 102, 074801 (2009).

Download references

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to express their sincere thanks to the many people at SLAC, LLNL, ANL and UCLA who contributed to this project, including the accelerator operations group, the electron and X-ray systems controls groups, ANL undulator systems design, LLNL X-ray diagnostics/optics, RF engineering, mechanical design, metrology, precision magnetic measurements, power conversion and the dedicated machine maintenance groups. We also thank the LBNL timing and synchronization team and in particular H. Sinn and J. Gruenert of DESY and S. Zholents of LBNL for their appreciable help with FEL commissioning in the spring of 2009. We are also grateful for the support of the US Department of Energy, Office of Science, under contract no. DE-AC02-76SF005, and the sponsorship of the LCLS mission by the Office of Basic Energy Sciences.

Author information

P.E., J.A., R.B., P.B., Z.H. and H.-D.N. co-wrote the paper. All authors designed, constructed and tested the accelerator and X-ray systems, performed experiments and analysed the data. J.G. was the LCLS project director.

Correspondence to P. Emma.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Further reading