Tunable Coherent X-rays

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Science  14 Jun 1985:
Vol. 228, Issue 4705, pp. 1265-1272
DOI: 10.1126/science.228.4705.1265


A modern 1- to 2-billion-electron-volt synchrotron radiation facility (based on high-brightness electron beams and magnetic undulators) would generate coherent (laser-like) soft x-rays of wavelengths as short as 10 angstroms. The radiation would also be broadly tunable and subject to full polarization control. Radiation with these properties could be used for phase- and element-sensitive microprobing of biological assemblies and material interfaces as well as reserch on the production of electronic microstructures with features smaller than 1000 angstroms. These short wavelength capabilities, which extend to the K-absorption edges of carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen, are neither available nor projected for laboratory XUV lasers. Higher energy storage rings (5 to 6 billion electron volts) would generate significantly less coherent radiation and would be further compromised by additional x-ray thermal loading of optical components.